Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington

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9781592407491: Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington

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.”

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About the Author:

Terry Teachout, the drama critic at The Wall Street Journal, is the author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong and Satchmo at the Waldorf, a one-man play about Armstrong’s life and times. He lives in New York City. 

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

From Chapter 5

Black and Tan also marked—literally—a transition in Ellington’s private life. After 1928 his left cheek bore a prominent crescent-shaped scar that is easily visible in the film’s last scene (and in the photograph reproduced on the cover of this book). Though rarely mentioned by journalists, it made fans curious enough that he felt obliged to “explain” its presence in Music Is My Mistress:

I have four stories about it, and it depends on which you like the best. One is a taxicab accident; another is that I slipped and fell on a broken bottle; then there is a jealous woman; and last is Old Heidelberg, where they used to stand toe to toe with a saber in each hand, and slash away. The first man to step back lost the contest, no matter how many times he’d sliced the other. Take your pick.

None of Ellington’s friends and colleagues was in doubt about which one to pick. In Irving Mills’s words, “Women was one of the highlights in his life. He had to have women. . . . He always had a woman, always kept a woman here, kept a woman there, always had somebody.” Most men who treat women that way are destined to suffer at their hands sooner or later, if not necessarily in so sensational a fashion as Ellington, whose wife attacked him with a razor when she found out that he was sleeping with another woman.

Who was she? One possible candidate is Fredi Washington. The costar of Black and Tan had launched her theatrical career in 1922 as a dancer in the chorus of the original production of Eubie Blake’s Shuffle Along. Sonny Greer later described her as “the most beautiful woman” he had ever seen. “She had gorgeous skin, perfect features, green eyes, and a great figure. When she smiled, that was it!” Washington was light enough to pass for white but adamantly refused to do so, a decision that made it impossible for her to establish herself in Hollywood, though she appeared with Paul Robeson in Dudley Murphy’s 1933 film of Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones (for which her skin was darkened with makeup) and starred in Imitation of Life, a 1934 tearjerker in which she played, with mortifying predictability, a light-skinned black who passed for white. Ellington never spoke on the record about their romantic involvement, but Washington later admitted to the film historian Donald Bogle that she and Ellington had been lovers: “I just had to accept that he wasn’t going to marry me. But I wasn’t going to be his mistress.” Their relationship was widely known at the time in the entertainment world, enough so that Mercer Ellington could write in his memoir of “a torrid love affair Pop had with a very talented and beautiful woman, an actress. I think this was a genuine romance, that there was love on both sides, and that it amounted to one of the most serious relationships of his life.”

Reprinted by arrangement with GOTHAM BOOKS, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © TERRY TEACHOUT, 2013.

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Teachout, Terry.
Editorial: Gotham Books. 1 Cloth(s) (2013)
ISBN 10: 1592407498 ISBN 13: 9781592407491
Nuevos Tapa dura Cantidad: 1
Librería
Daedalus Books
(Columbia, MD, Estados Unidos de America)
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Descripción Gotham Books. 1 Cloth(s), 2013. hard. Estado de conservación: New. The author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong, as well as a cultural critic, playwright, and musician, Terry Teachout offers this major biography of a singular musical figure. Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was the greatest jazz composer of the 20th century, assays Teachout; he was also 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 1500 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. 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."Teachout delivers a Duke unlike any we've seen in previous biographies . [and] affirms that music was Ellington's greatest mistress—and to her, the composer was unrelentingly loyal."—Essence "One might have thought yet another life, admittedly a 'synthesis,' 40 years after the subject's death might be superfluous. In this addition to our music literature, however, Teachout . abundantly justifies the effort. Though respectful and musically knowing, Teachout presents the famously evasive and not altogether admirable Ellington (among other traits, procrastination, manipulativeness, and incorrigible womanizing) scars and all, including the rarely photographed one on his left cheek, inflicted by his jealous wife. It is Ellington's breathtakingly enormous musical contribution (1700 compositions, from short pieces to major suites and sacred music) and his gift for collaboration, albeit often appropriation, that is the fitting focus of this important book. Included is a list of 'key recordings,' all currently downloadable, a perfect accompaniment to one's reading of this entertaining and valuable biography."—Booklist (starred review) 483. Nº de ref. de la librería 71109

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Teachout, Terry
Editorial: Gotham 2013-10-17 (2013)
ISBN 10: 1592407498 ISBN 13: 9781592407491
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Descripción Gotham 2013-10-17, 2013. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Hardcover. Publisher overstock, may contain remainder mark on edge. Nº de ref. de la librería 9781592407491B

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Terry Teachout
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Postscript Books
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Descripción Gotham, 2013. Estado de conservación: New. Both of Edward Kennedy Ellington's parents were pianists but it was not until the teenage 'Duke' heard a ragtime piece in 1913 that he took the instrument seriously. By the 1920s he was in Harlem, New York, leading his own orchestra and on the path to worldwide fame. This biography assesses the life and artistic legacy of the most prolific and influential jazz composer of all time, drawing on private papers, scrapbooks, musical manuscripts and interviews.Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge. Nº de ref. de la librería 219521

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Teachout, Terry
Editorial: Gotham (2013)
ISBN 10: 1592407498 ISBN 13: 9781592407491
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Reader's Corner, Inc.
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Descripción Gotham, 2013. Hard Cover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. First Edition, First Printing. This is a new hardcover first edition, first printing copy in a new, mylar protected DJ, white spine. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Nº de ref. de la librería 066469

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Teachout, Terry
Editorial: Avery (2013)
ISBN 10: 1592407498 ISBN 13: 9781592407491
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I Cannot Live Without Books
(West Dennis, MA, Estados Unidos de America)
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Descripción Avery, 2013. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. 1st Edition. 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, Ellington 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 night-clubs where he honed his style. He wrote some seventeen hundred compositions, many of which, like "Mood Indigo" and "Sophisticated Lady," remain beloved standards, and sought inspiration in an endless string of transient lovers, always hiding his inner self behind a smiling mask of flowery language and ironic charm. Wall Street Journal critic Terry Teachout, who played jazz bass professionally before becoming a full-time writer, has drawn on unpublished private papers, musical manuscripts, scrapbooks, and transcripts of breathtakingly frank interviews to uncover the facts about the public and private lives of Duke Ellington, placing him in the context of the Harlem Renaissance and examining his influence on twentieth-century art and culture. The first full-length Ellington biography in nearly two decades, Duke peels away countless layers of evasion and 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.". Nº de ref. de la librería 000132

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Terry Teachout
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Descripción Penguin Random House. Estado de conservación: New. Brand New. Nº de ref. de la librería 1592407498

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Descripción Alfred Publishing Co.(UK)Ltd, 2013. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Brand new book. Fast shipping form our UK warehouse in eco-friendly packaging. Fast, efficient and friendly customer service. Nº de ref. de la librería 9781592407491N

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Teachout, Terry
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Enterprise Books
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Descripción Gotham Books, 2013. Hardcover, photos. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. First Edition; First Printing. Book and DJ New. No notes, or ANY markings. DJ not price clipped ($30) ; Ships in a box, USA; 483 pages. Nº de ref. de la librería 55380

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Descripción 2013. HRD. Estado de conservación: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería KS-9781592407491

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Descripción Gotham, 2013. 1st. Estado de conservación: new. 1st Gotham 2013 edition 1st printing hardcover new book & new condition dw In stock shipped from our UK warehouse. Nº de ref. de la librería 68853

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