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5.0 out of 5 stars ELLINGTON UNMASKED
This is a scholarly work, whilst at the same time eminently readable. The biography itself runs to just over 350 pages, plus a list of suggested recordings, a select biography, source notes, and index. The author traces Duke's development, both musically and as a person, the composition of and changes within the band, including the personalities involved, and analyses the...
Published 28 days ago by Barry McCanna

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A complement
Interesting reading for hard-core Ellington aficionados. A complement to other books about the maestro, e g Mercer Ellington's book, which I recommend.
Published 10 months ago by knegaren


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5.0 out of 5 stars ELLINGTON UNMASKED, 5 April 2015
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Barry McCanna (Normandy, France) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is a scholarly work, whilst at the same time eminently readable. The biography itself runs to just over 350 pages, plus a list of suggested recordings, a select biography, source notes, and index. The author traces Duke's development, both musically and as a person, the composition of and changes within the band, including the personalities involved, and analyses the musical landmarks of recordings and concerts. En route we learn about Ellington's personality, and the often difficult relationships with family, friends, musicians and women, most of which he succeeded in keeping concealed throughout his lifetime. There are just two small points that I picked up on. Reference is made on page 162 to the Goodman Trio being "a racially integrated band-within-the-band", and on page 217 to Goodman being "the first white leader of a racially integrated big band". Without detracting from Goodman's approach, the fact remains that the Goodman Trio was a quite separate entity from the Goodman big band. On page 263 reference is made to "the British musicians' union (as being) as sticky in 1948 in allowing foreign musicians to work in England as it had been in 1933". Just for the record, many American bands and musicians visited England during the twenties, but when attitudes changed there was, if anything, greater hostility from the American union side. Those minor cavils apart, this is a well-constructed account of the life of one of the major jazz musicians of the 20th century, which should be required reading for anyone with an interest in the music.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, well written & well researched., 9 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: DUKE: A Life of Duke Ellington (Hardcover)
There are quite a few Duke biographies out there. I've read three of them and I would say this is the best I've come across.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DUKE, 19 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: DUKE: A Life of Duke Ellington (Hardcover)
This was bought as a present for my husband who is fanatical about Duke Ellington. He absolutely loved this gift.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars big band jazz, 17 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: DUKE: A Life of Duke Ellington (Hardcover)
this is a brilliant book,i have 6 other books on ellington,most view their subject through rose tinted glasses! this one attempts to describe the man as bandleader,composer and human being... in the first two,he succeeds, in the latter he finds out that nobody new the real ellington something ellington made sure that only his music would be his true legacy....
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Duke, 11 Jan. 2014
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This was a Christmas present so I am still reading it.So far, once I got passed the prologue, a good read
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A complement, 25 Jun. 2014
This review is from: DUKE: A Life of Duke Ellington (Hardcover)
Interesting reading for hard-core Ellington aficionados. A complement to other books about the maestro, e g Mercer Ellington's book, which I recommend.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT, 2 Mar. 2014
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This was a gift for my father for Christmas. It was exactly what he wanted and appreciate the swift delivery.
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DUKE: A Life of Duke Ellington
DUKE: A Life of Duke Ellington by Terry Teachout (Hardcover - 19 Nov. 2013)
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