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Duke Ellington

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Music lovers everywhere have hailed Duke Ellington as one of the greatest geniuses of jazz. Yet, aside from Ellington's own rather unrevealing autobiography and a collection of reminiscences of his band members, no in-depth biography of this preeminent figure of twentieth-century music and entertainment has previously existed. James Lincoln Collier fills this gap with his ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 15th 1989 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 1987)
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Bill Kerwin
Nov 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography

An excellent biography, notable for its clear, elegant style, its well articulated and well supported musical opinions, and its helpful, detailed paragraph-long descriptions of the arrangements of more than a score of recordings. This is a book primarily about the music, and although it reveals many details of Ellington's life it does so primarily to illuminate his achievement.

Collier prefers--I think rightly--the sustained excellence of the late '20's and 30's band to the brief meteoric splend
...more
Marc
Jul 30, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who hate jazz
Hatchet job!
Jon Frum
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Maybe not actually a five star book, but I'm grading on a curve here. Collier gives us a much needed critical biography of a jazz icon. Not critical as in negative, but simply looking at his subject with an objective eye. People who take the trouble to write biographies of musicians tend to be fanboys by definition, so a good deal of the truth gets swept under the rug. Ellington is a great figure in jazz, but he was also just a guy - a bandleader trying to make a living. I couldn't agree more wi ...more
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Mar 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
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James Lincoln Collier (born June 27, 1928) is a journalist, author, and professional musician.

Collier's notable literary works include My Brother Sam Is Dead (1974), a Newbery Honor book that was also named a Notable Children's Book by the American Library Association and nominated for a National Book Award in 1975. He also wrote a children's book titled The Empty Mirror (2004), The Teddy Bear Hab
...more

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