[Dixielandjazz] New Yorker-- Duke Ellington--Harvey G. Cohen's book, Duke Ellington's America

Norman Vickers nvickers1 at cox.net
Sat May 15 04:10:55 PDT 2010

To:  Musicians & serious Jazzfans; DJML

From: Norman Vickers, Jazz Society of Pensacola


Musicians & Jazzfans Listmate Henry Trimble, of Pensacola,   calls attention
to  this 8 page article on Duke Ellington from New Yorker.  Harvey Cohen has
mined the Smithsonian archives as basis for his book.  Click the link to
read the article online.


The only quibble I have with the review is one sentence.  Writer describes
the collaborative effort of his band members and states that without
Ellington's efforts in shaping the tunes, they would have come to naught.
The statement, in effect, that none of the band members, including
Strayhorn, composed any significant tunes on their own.

My counter-argument:  "Take the "A "Train, used as Ellington's theme song
was composed by Strayhorn as a present to Ellington.  Words included
directions Ellington gave Strayhorn as directions to his house on Sugar Hill
in Harlem.

Strayhorn's "Lush Life" was composed before he ever met Ellington-etc. We
could go on-but you get the idea.


In the early 80s, I heard Smithsonian jazz archivist John Hasse discuss how
the  extensive Ellington papers were rescued, last-minute, from being sold
to collector in Japan.  Seems that they had been stored in a building with a
leaky roof.

Wow!  What a loss that would have been!




Duke <http://www.newyorker.com/search/query?keyword=Duke%20Ellington>

7%20s%20America%208221%20%20(Chicago%20%20%2036%2040)> "Duke Ellington's
America" (Chicago; $40);

Harvey <http://www.newyorker.com/search/query?keyword=Harvey%20G.%20Cohen>
G. Cohen;

Jazz <http://www.newyorker.com/search/query?keyword=Jazz%20Musicians>

Composers <http://www.newyorker.com/search/query?keyword=Composers> ;

Big Bands <http://www.newyorker.com/search/query?keyword=Big%20Bands> ;

Racism <http://www.newyorker.com/search/query?keyword=Racism> 

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