American Legends : The Life of Duke Ellington
*Includes pictures *Includes Duke Ellington's quotes about his life and career *Includes a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents "I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues." - Duke Ellington "Art is dangerous. It is one of the attractions: when it ceases to be dangerous you don't want it." - Duke Ellington A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history's most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors' American Legends series, readers can get caught up to speed on the lives of America's most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known. In 1956, Duke Ellington was featured on the cover of Time Magazine after a bravura performance at the Newport Jazz Festival that summer. This remains one of his most iconic achievements, and a landmark for jazz music as a whole (only four jazz musicians were ever displayed on the cover of Time). At the same time, however, this recognition stands as one of the prevailing ironies of Ellington's career, as he was deep into the latter stages of his performing life by this point. Indeed, there is a way in which everything that Ellington had done up to that point in his career was obscured. Put differently, it is misleading to recognize Duke simply for his accomplished performance at the festival, as one could justifiably argue that he transformed the very nature of jazz (both its stylistic qualities and its cultural identity) in his career up until this point. Duke Ellington's career covers such a vast scope that it is difficult to locate exactly where it began. Born into a relatively well-to-do family in Washington, D.C., Duke's mother saw to it that he received quality musical instruction from a young age, yet this did not lead to immediate investment in the musical arts. It was not until early in his teenage years that he began seriously playing music, but his performing career began soon thereafter. From that point forward, Ellington's shift through adolescence through adulthood-his very maturation process-was inextricably tied to his growth as a musical performer. Moreover, Ellington was both a pioneer and someone invested in the cultural history of his race. He was able to implement new motifs to jazz, but did so in a manner that was forever committed to honoring the heritage of African-American music. In addition to live performances, Ellington worked in radio and film, and his work remains some of the most important in American culture during the time period. His music addressed not only race but also influenced the evolution of jazz through the first half of the 20th century. American Legends: The Life of Duke Ellington looks at the life and career of one of America's most influential musicians. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about Duke Ellington like never before, in no time at all.
- Paperback | 42 pages
- 152.4 x 228.6 x 2.54mm | 113.4g
- 16 Feb 2015
- United States
- black & white illustrations