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

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)
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 Duke Ellington, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Duke Ellington

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  60 ratings  ·  5 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Duke Ellington
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
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
- -
Mar 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
rated it it was ok
Apr 19, 2009
rated it it was amazing
Apr 29, 2009
Martin Waterhouse
rated it really liked it
Sep 07, 2010
Secular Reader
rated it really liked it
May 31, 2020
rated it liked it
Jun 11, 2010
Chris Meloche
rated it really liked it
Aug 28, 2017
rated it liked it
Dec 09, 2012
rated it it was ok
May 15, 2013
rated it really liked it
May 15, 2014
Daniel Vafadar
rated it really liked it
Feb 10, 2018
Jon A.
rated it liked it
Mar 20, 2016
Dave Faloon
rated it it was amazing
Nov 06, 2013
Vic Dillahay
rated it liked it
Jun 02, 2007
rated it really liked it
Feb 11, 2015
Lee Tucker
rated it really liked it
Jun 22, 2018
Scooter Chick
rated it really liked it
Aug 04, 2014
rated it liked it
Aug 24, 2013
rated it liked it
Jan 01, 2016
Matt ONeil
rated it really liked it
Jan 07, 2017
David Fantow
rated it it was amazing
Apr 08, 2020
rated it really liked it
Oct 23, 2019
Dale Proctor
rated it really liked it
Oct 08, 2013
Sarah Makai
rated it it was amazing
Dec 29, 2015
Skip Heller
rated it liked it
Mar 12, 2012
Gregory R. Izor
rated it really liked it
Mar 04, 2020
rated it really liked it
Dec 30, 2014
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Miles: The Autobiography
  • Clark: The Autobiography of Clark Terry
  • Patul lui Procust
  • Chocolate Cream Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen #24)
  • The Way I Heard It
  • Beastie Boys Book
  • Decoded
  • Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation
  • How to Ruin Everything: Essays
  • Ella Fitzgerald: A Biography Of The First Lady Of Jazz
  • Mere Christianity
  • A Rose for Her Grave and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #1)
  • Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge
  • Tunesmith: Inside the Art of Songwriting
  • Petty: The Biography
  • Let The Drums Speak!: The Life Story Of The World's Most Recorded Drummer
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Don Juan
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our list,...
30 likes · 21 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »