A Life of Duke Ellington

Book - 2013
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A major new biography of Duke Ellington from the acclaimed author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was the greatest jazz composer of the twentieth century--and an impenetrably enigmatic personality whom no one, not even his closest friends, claimed to understand. The grandson of a slave, he dropped out of high school to become one of the world's most famous musicians, a showman of incomparable suavity who was as comfortable in Carnegie Hall as in the nightclubs where he honed his style. He wrote some fifteen hundred compositions, many of which, like "Mood Indigo" and "Sophisticated Lady," remain beloved standards, and he sought inspiration in an endless string of transient lovers, concealing his inner self behind a smiling mask of flowery language and ironic charm.
As the biographer of Louis Armstrong, Terry Teachout is uniquely qualified to tell the story of the public and private lives of Duke Ellington. Duke peels away countless layers of Ellington's evasion and public deception to tell the unvarnished truth about the creative genius who inspired Miles Davis to say, "All the musicians should get together one certain day and get down on their knees and thank Duke."
Publisher: New York, New York, USA : Gotham Books, 2013
ISBN: 9781592407491
Characteristics: 483 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Vincent T Lombardo Nov 18, 2014

Well written and informative.

BCD2013 May 06, 2014

Recounts the public and private lives of the greatest jazz composer of the twentieth century.

ChristchurchLib Dec 17, 2013

"Jazz performer, composer, and band leader Duke Ellington was a complex, talented man who also displayed personal weaknesses. Focusing on his prodigious volume of compositions and his skill as an orchestra director, Teachout also provides details about Ellington's tumultuous personal life and his relationships with collaborators." Biography and Memoir December 2013 newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=712601


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