Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Beyond Category: The Life And Genius Of Duke Ellington” as Want to Read:
Beyond Category: The Life And Genius Of Duke Ellington
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Beyond Category: The Life And Genius Of Duke Ellington

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  58 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
One of the twentieth century's greatest composers, Duke Ellington (1899–1974) led a fascinating life. Beyond Category, the first biography to draw on the vast Duke Ellington archives at the Smithsonian Institution, recounts his remarkable career: his childhood in Washington, D.C., and his musical apprenticeship in Harlem; his long engagement at the Cotton Club; the challen ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published March 22nd 1995 by Da Capo Press (first published October 14th 1993)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Beyond Category, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Beyond Category

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 126)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 04, 2012 Blake rated it it was amazing
The book Beyond Category: The Life and Genius Of Duke Ellington by John Hasse is most definitely a fantastic book. Beyond Category is about the full life, and achievements of Duke Ellington in great detail. John Hasse goes into great explanation about the beginning, middle, and end of "The Great Duke's" Life and ties it into why, and how he did what he did. There was much detail about Duke Ellington growing up in Washington D.C., including information about his mother being very lucky to have gr ...more
Oct 08, 2007 Leslie added it
Recommends it for: People who dig music, African American history, culture, and jazz
Shelves: music, biography
Ok, so this was initially a bit of a fluff book--it lightly described Duke Ellington's life without going into the nitty gritty of relationships but deeper into the book it starts to examine Duke Ellington's politics, his influence on early recording technology, the music industry as well as the development of jazz as a legitimate American art form. Particularly of interest are photos which lend to the mood of Ellington's emphasis on appearance. The man was a great dresser and a lady's man. But ...more
Katherine Pena
Jan 14, 2008 Katherine Pena rated it it was amazing
Duke elington is one of my favorite musicians of all time, the book is almost 500 pages but trust me, it is a great read :)
Oct 23, 2010 CyLarge rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jazz, bios-memoirs
I would have preferred to give this a 2.5, but choosing between 2 and 3, I choose 3 stars simply because the book is extremely helpful and does what is intended. The book does a very good job of chronicling his band and bandmembers over the years, although towards the end of the book is almost exclusively focused on that. I have some issues with Hasse's writing approach, and the book seemed flawed to me in a few ways.

(1) He has a tendency to state certain conclusions he makes REPEATEDLY througho
Andrew Kopp
Mar 28, 2013 Andrew Kopp rated it it was amazing
Absolutely wonderful history of not just a musician, but of jazz itself. I highly recommend listening to the tracks listed at the end of each chapter. (Most can be found on YouTube). The listening gives a very good sense of the style of any given time. They also give a wonderful overreaching arch of Duke Ellingtons progression and maturation through music.
Jul 22, 2014 Andrew rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, jazz, music
Basic but solid Ellington bio. The primary focus is how Ellington balanced artistic ambitions with commercial survival over the course of his career. Discussion of the music as music is limited, but the listening suggestions at the end of each chapter are helpful.
Jun 02, 2012 Josh rated it liked it
Shelves: music, history, biography

A solid overview and a fine appreciation-- even if it sacrifices depth for breadth, especially where Duke's recordings, and his relationship with Strayhorn, are concerned.
Cafe_milagro marked it as to-read
May 22, 2016
Kallie marked it as to-read
May 09, 2016
C. marked it as to-read
Apr 08, 2016
Mollie Anderson
Mollie Anderson is currently reading it
Apr 04, 2016
Jessica marked it as to-read
Mar 03, 2016
Jabriel marked it as to-read
Jan 22, 2016
Andrew marked it as to-read
Dec 27, 2015
Mark Funke
Mark Funke rated it really liked it
Dec 23, 2015
Dave Holley
Dave Holley is currently reading it
Dec 13, 2015
John Mcinerney
John Mcinerney marked it as to-read
Dec 05, 2015
Grant added it
Nov 22, 2015
David Wilbanks
David Wilbanks rated it it was amazing
Oct 18, 2015
Peter rated it liked it
Sep 10, 2015
Brian O'Connor
Brian O'Connor rated it really liked it
Aug 31, 2015
Gianni marked it as to-read
Aug 12, 2015
Andrew rated it it was amazing
Jul 21, 2015
Lila marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2015
Owen rated it liked it
Jun 10, 2015
Corry Petersen
Corry Petersen rated it really liked it
Apr 19, 2015
Monica marked it as to-read
Apr 13, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book