Thursday, January 22, 2015

the freshest.

When you see the name Duke Ellington, you think JAZZ, but Mr. Ellington was so much more than a pianist, band leader, composer...he was an ORIGINATOR of big-band jazz music in the early 1920's. Jazz musician turned author, Terry Teachout is known for his fab bios and doesn't disappoint in Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington. This author is nothing if not honest, and he's not afraid to tell you what you don't want to hear. That being said, don't let the personal stuff get in the way of your opinion of Ellington as a musician/composer. No, he wasn't the best husband, but he was the best damn jazz composer pretty much ever...with the help of his bandmates. Hey, the man was smart and knew how to make hits like no one else. Credit where credit is due. Ellington was a musical genius who struggled to gain respect, not only for himself, but for his race. Teachout was a little judgy if you ask me, but if your best friend wrote your biography it would be pretty boring.

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