Duke Ellington And His World

Duke Ellington And His World

Duke Ellington and His World

Based on lengthy interviews with Ellington's bandmates, family, and friends, Duke Ellington and His World offers a fresh look at this legendary composer. The first biography of the composer written by a fellow musician and African-American, the book traces Ellington's life and career in terms of the social, cultural, political, and economic realities of his times. Beginning with his birth in Washington, DC, through his first bands and work at the legendary Cotton Club, to his final great extended compositions, this book gives a thorough introduction to Ellington's music and how it was made. It also illuminates his personal life because, for Ellington, music was his life and his life was a constant inspiration for music.

From Library Journal
Inspired by the lyrics of Stevie Wonder's 1976 hit "Sir Duke," this work contains an interesting and controversial mix of material. Lavezzoli, a musicologist and jazz musician, has interviewed Ellington colleagues (e.g., drummer Butch Ballard) and aficionados (e.g., recording technician and collector Jerry Valburn) to gain some insight into the great bandleader's music. Interspersed among those dialogs are chapters on musicians that Lavezzoli believes Ellington influenced. The author's choices of Frank Zappa, Prince,...

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