Duke

A Life of Duke Ellington

By Terry Teachout
(Gotham Books, Hardcover, 9781592407491, 483pp.)

Publication Date: October 17, 2013

List Price: $30.00*
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Description
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.



About the Author
Terry Teachout writes about literature and the arts for the New York Times, Time, National Review, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and Commentary. His books include A Second Mencken Chrestomaby, a manuscript he rediscovered among Mencken's private papers. He lives in New York City.
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