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The World Of Duke Ellington

Stanley Dance

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ISBN 10: 0306810158 / ISBN 13: 9780306810152
Published by Da Capo Press, 2000
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The World Of Duke Ellington

Publisher: Da Capo Press

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: New

About this title


"The ultimate in art is self-expression, not escape."-Duke Ellington In this fascinating portrait of one of America's greatest musical legends, longtime friend and jazz historian Stanley Dance recounts the life of the incomparable Duke Ellington in his own words and in the words of the artists who played along with him: longtime co-composer Billy Strayhorn, saxophonists Johnny Hodges and Ben Webster, trumpeters Cootie Williams and Clark Terry, drummer Sonny Greer, vocalist Alice Babs, and organist Wild Bill Davis, among many others. There are also first-hand accounts of Ellington's world tours, performances in churches and the White House, interviews and public appearances, and a complete discography and chronology. The result is a timeless chronicle of the long and extraordinary career of a music master."The truest and most intimate portrait of the great Ellington that we have."-Whitney Balliett


Onstage, Duke Ellington was an effusive, electrifying personality. Offstage, he was something of a cipher, which led one longtime associate to speculate that "only a whole convention of people who 'knew' Ellington, each revealing their understanding of the enigma, could begin to piece together an accurate portrait of him." Stanley Dance, an Ellington booster since the 1930s, has assembled exactly this sort of composite picture. His book includes verbal snapshots of the orchestra on tour, and several conversations with the man himself. The main attraction, though, is the series of interviews that Dance conducted with dozens of orchestra members, including Ben Webster, Cootie Williams, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney, and Johnny Hodges. None of these gentlemen claim any profound intimacy with their employer (although baritone saxophonist Carney, who also chauffeured Ellington between gigs, probably spent as much time in his company as any other human being). But their accumulated conversation does add up to a rare--if inevitably partial--portrait, as well as a treasure trove of musical insight.

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