A Biography of Billy Strayhorn
By David Hajdu
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374194383, 464pp.
Publication Date: June 1, 1996
Billy Strayhorn (1915-1967) was one of the most accomplished composers in American music, the creator of such standards as "Take the 'A' Train", yet all his life he was overshadowed by his friend and collaborator, Duke Ellington. Through scrutiny of Strayhorn's private papers and more than five hundred interviews, Hajdu revives Strayhorn as one of the most complex and tragic figures in jazz history.