Mary's Reviews > Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra

Duke Ellington by Andrea Davis Pinkney
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's review
Nov 15, 09

it was amazing
bookshelves: informational-books-and-biographies

Non-Print Review of Book on CD with picture book

From Kirkus Reviews
Addressing readers directly``You ever heard of the jazz-playin' man, the man with the cats who could swing with his band?''the Pinkneys embark on a cool and vibrant tour of Duke Ellington's musical career, from the pool hall ragtime that ``set Duke's fingers to wiggling,'' to his 1943 Carnegie Hall concert, also giving some of the soloists that played with him, and songwriter Billy Strayhorn, a chance to step forward. Translated into color and visual forms, music floats and swirls through the scratchboard scenes, curling out of an antique radio, setting dancers to ``cuttin' the rug'' at the elegant Cotton Club and, of course, trailing behind an ``A'' train. Like Chris Raschka's solos, Charlie Parker Played Be-Bop (1992) and Mysterious Thelonius (1997), this loving tribute temptingly evokes the sound and spirit of a jazz pioneer. (Picture book/biography. 8-10) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved

This book was a perfect book to be on CD. Ellington's music was present throughout the reading, which added to the spectacularly descriptive and "delicious" words Pickney wrote. This is the kind of story that must be read right for kids to get it and like it, which is the benefit of having this book be on CD. This book should be read with the rhythm and movement that is present in the text and the illustrations. The illustrations are incredible! Wow! Loved this book!

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by NSAndrew (new)

NSAndrew Liebergen The question I have is this, how come (for the most part) the only time we hear about music as a topic in literature, it is in biographies. Sure there are a few fiction books with music as a key element, but on the whole not very many. Another question (for the most part) How come when we read biographies of musicians, they are usually jazz people and for that matter the same jazz people over and over again. There are many interesting jazz personalities out there such as Jelly Roll Morton, the Bird and Miles Davis. Why are there not more biographies on these people who shaped the culture of our country? Going further, why are there not more biographies of people of other musical genres? Do you know Philip Glass or Stephen Soundheim, two of the most influential composers of the 20th century; sure you don’t, why because there are no books about them. While I am on the subject, if you look at the history of literature, one might think there were little if any fine arts in our history. Why have authors neglected to focus on the cultural aspects of the arts in fiction of any sort.

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