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on 7 November 2012
¡¥Nicholson has orchestrated the elements of the life and the voices that bear witness to them with a skill worthy of Ellington himself.¡¦ The Independent

¡¥A terrific rap.¡¦ The Times

¡¥Meticulous jazz-buff research. But it is also a vividly human document about one of the major musical figures of our century. By the end you feel that you, too, were his intimate friend.¡¦ The Mail on Sunday ¡V ¡¥Book of the Week¡¦

¡¥Despite the current avalanche of laudatory books and articles that amounts to an Ellington cottage industry, Mr. Nicholson¡¦s book takes a permanent place in the essential bibliography of America¡¦s greatest composer, one that will prove informative and delightful to neophytes and Ellington experts alike.¡¦ Grover Sales, The Washington Times (USA)

¡¥Nicholson has given Ellington a superb centennial gift.¡¦ Humphrey Carpenter, The Sunday Times

¡¥A magnificent piece of work¡KA Portrait of Duke Ellington is an ambitious, compelling and wonderfully realised exploration of a great man¡¦s life. The Duke deserved a handsome memorial on his centenary, and Stuart Nicholson provided it.¡¦ Yorkshire Post (Leeds)

¡¥I thoroughly enjoyed this¡Ksome of the juxtapositions are wonderfully skilled and beautifully telling¡KI found it a read where I could barely put it down.¡¦ Janet Ritterman, Director of the Royal College of Music { A Sound Read (BBC Radio 3)

¡¥This intimate, eminently readable biography¡Kwas assembled with love, respect and reverence without losing its sense of balance and accuracy¡Kpainted in full and vibrant hues, giving short shrift neither to Ellington¡¦s inestimable importance as a musician or his fascinating personality and character. Highest recommendation.¡¦ The San Diego Union Tribune (USA)

¡¥Nicholson successfully brings a humanness and warmth to America¡¦s finest composer in this centennial year of his birth¡Ka strong addition to other recent works on Ellington.¡¦ Library Journal (USA)

¡¥A genuinely innovative contribution to Ellington studies¡Kone of the most approachable and easily digestible ways to come to terms with the mythic proportions of this most inescapable figure.¡¦ Sunday Tribune (Dublin)

¡¥Buy this book.¡¦ The Irish Independent (Dublin)

¡¥Nicholson ensures his music comes across in all its life enhancing, irresistible freshness.¡¦ Literary Review (London)

¡¥Nicholson¡¦s book is not a conventional biography but instead a huge collage of quotations, as if he had been able posthumously to interview Ellington and his associates. It works well and throws up a good deal of new material¡Ka readable and revealing addition to the sizeable shelf of Ellington books.¡¦ The Sunday Telegraph

¡¥Done with great skill and love, it¡¦s seamless and wonderfully immediate¡Kbeautifully done and such a wonderful story.¡¦ Howard Brenton, playwright and author { A Sound Read (BBC Radio 3)

¡¥A fascinating everything-including-the-kitchen-sink biography¡Kthoroughly researched, highly readable and full of unusual miscellany.¡¦ The Boston Globe (USA)

¡¥What more does anyone really need to know?¡¦ The Atlantic (USA)

¡¥Like the Ellington suite for which it is named, Stuart Nicholson¡¦s copiously researched appreciation of Duke Ellington¡¦s life and art is a work of unobtrusive joy.¡¦ Newsday (USA)

¡¥This affectionate but honest portrait doesn¡¦t shy from Ellington¡¦s earthy sensuality, his superstition, drinking, gambling and use of crude language¡Kand thanks to Nicholson¡¦s sensitive editing, it preserves all of it¡¦s speakers¡¦ dignity and humanity. There is no meanness or smallness anywhere in this portrait.¡¦ The Christian Science Monitor (USA)

¡¥Rich in personal anecdote and period detail¡KNicholson¡¦s prodigious archival research and his thoughtful orchestration of source material let him combine accessibility with scholarly authority. The book¡¦s title comes from a 1934 number Ellington penned to mourn the death of his mother; it sums up the sweetly nostalgic mood this richly detailed biography creates.¡¦ Publishers Weekly (USA)

¡¥One of the most enjoyable and riveting books on the subject you¡¦ll ever read.¡¦ Jazz Journal International (London)

¡¥Parts of the Ellington personality remain in the shadows because no one was ever allowed to get too close. But in these pages Stuart Nicholson comes as near as anyone has ever done.¡¦ The Herald (Glasgow)

¡¥Told in the language of jazz musicians, this delightful biography hits all the high notes.¡¦ The Sunday Times (Summer Reading List { ¡¥This year¡¦s best titles to choose from when packing for the holidays.¡¦)

¡¥Books like these are worth twice any pundit¡¦s fusty revisions of jazz history.¡¦ Evening Standard (London)

¡¥Deserves ongoing mention and recommendation as an outstanding celebration of the jazz figure¡¦s life and times.¡¦ The Bookwatch (USA)

¡¥A classic.¡¦ Jazz UK

¡¥Nicholson¡Kis a serious jazz historian and a gifted writer.¡¦ Jazz Notes (USA)

¡¥This volume is a welcome addition to the growing canon¡Kit provides more personal insight into the man than any other currently available work.¡¦ Choice (USA)

¡¥A success.¡¦ Ellingtonia: The Newsletter of the Duke Ellington Society (USA)

¡¥His affectionate but honest portrait doesn¡¦t shy away from Ellington¡¦s earthy sensuality, his superstition, drinking, gambling, and use of crude language¡Kthanks to Nicholson's sensitive editing, it preserves all of its speakers' dignity and humanity. There is no meanness or smallness anywhere in this portrait.¡¦ The Black History Project (USA)

Praise For the Pan Paperback (UK):

¡¥Bursting with anecdotal exuberance, this innovative biography is comprised of intimate first hand reminiscences.¡¦ The Sunday Telegraph

¡¥Nicholson¡¦s decision to use the fashionable ¡§collage¡¨ style of biography, pioneered by George Plimpton in his life of Truman Capote, is triumphantly vindicated.¡¦ The Sunday Times

¡¥Nicholson has produced a life that is a worthy companion to Ellington¡¦s incomparable music.¡¦ The Independent

¡¥The research is astonishing, the editing immaculate¡KEllington comes to life before our eyes¡Kif this knowledgeable retelling doesn¡¦t send you scuttling to the jazz section of your local recorded music emporium, nothing will.¡¦ Irish Times

¡¥Stuart Nicholson¡¦s innovative and chunky biography makes for compelling reading.¡¦ Straight No Chaser
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Limited Edition 11 CD Collection From Rare Duke Ellington Recordings