”Music is my mistress, and she plays second fiddle to no one.” This is the story of Duke Ellington—the story of Jazz itself. Told in his own way, in his own words, a symphony written by the King of Jazz. His story spans and defines a half-century of modern music.This man who created over 1500 compositions was as much at home in Harlem’s Cotton Club in the ‘20s as he was at a White House birthday celebration in his honor in the ‘60s. For Duke knew everyone and savored them all. Passionate about his music and the people who made music, he counted as his friends hundreds of the musicians who changed the face of music throughout the world: Bechet, Basie, Armstrong, Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Sinatra, to name a few of them. Here are 100 photographs to give us an intimate view of Duke’s world—his family, his friends, his associates.What emerges most strongly in his commitment to music, the mistress for whom he saves the fullest intensity of his passion. ”Lovers have come and gone, but only my mistress stays,” he says. He composed not only songs that all the world has sung, but also suites, sacred works, music for stage and screen and symphonies. This rich book, the embodiment of the life and works of the Duke, is replete with appendices listing singers, arrangers, lyricists and the symphony orchestras with whom the Duke played. There is a book to own and cherish by all who love Jazz and the contributions made to it by the Duke.
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