The Duke Ellington Reader

Front Cover
Mark Tucker, Duke Ellington
Oxford University Press, 1993 - Biography & Autobiography - 536 pages
Duke Ellington is universally recognized as one of the towering figures of 20th-century music, both a brilliant composer and one of the preeminent musicians in jazz history. From early pieces such as East St. Louis Toodle-O, Black and Tan Fantasy, It Don't Mean a Thing, and Mood Indigo, to his more complex works such as Reminiscing in Tempo and Black, Brown and Beige, to his later suites and sacred concerts, he left an indelible mark on the musical world. Now, in The Duke Ellington Reader, Mark Tucker offers the first historical anthology of writings about this major African-American musician. The volume includes over a hundred selections--interviews, critical essays, reviews, memoirs, and over a dozen writings by Ellington himself--with generous introductions and annotations for each selection provided by the editor. The result is a unique sourcebook that illuminates Ellington's work and reveals the profound impact his music has made on listeners over the years.
The writers gathered here represent a Who's Who of jazz criticism: Gunther Schuller, Whitney Balliett, Martin Williams, Gary Giddins, Stanley Crouch, Albert Murray, Nat Hentoff, Hugues Panassie, Stanley Dance, to name just a few. Their writings span Ellington's entire career, from the days when Duke Ellington's Washingtonians appeared at New York's Club Kentucky ("Probably the 'hottest' band this side of the equator"), to the Duke's glorious reign at the Cotton Club, to his later years as global ambassador of American music. Tucker has included some of the classic essays written about Ellington, such as R. D. Darrell's "Black Beauty," the first significant critical essay on Ellington's work and still one of the most important; Richard O. Boyer's lengthy New Yorker profile "The Hot Bach," printed here in its entirety; and Martin Williams's "Form Beyond Form," one of the best capsule introductions to Ellington's art. Throughout the book, the reader receives a balanced overview of Ellington's life as composer and performer, as public personality and private individual. Tucker provides a number of pieces on Ellington's compositions, including an entire chapter devoted to critical response to Ellington's Black, Brown and Beige, and there are also many moving pieces on Ellington the man, such as Ralph Ellison's tribute to Ellington on his 70th birthday, and Stanley Dance's funeral address. Finally, Tucker rounds out the collection with profiles on many of the outstanding musicians who worked with Ellington, among them Johnny Hodges, Bubber Miley, Billy Strayhorn, Ivie Anderson, Sonny Greer, Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton, and Ben Webster.
This is a landmark volume in jazz criticism, a kaleidoscopic portrait of Duke Ellington's creative world, documenting his extraordinary achievements as composer, songwriter, bandleader, and pianist. It is an essential companion for Ellington enthusiasts, jazz fans, and serious students of American music.

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Contents

Early Years 18991927
3
First New York Review 1923
21
Cotton Club Bandleader 19271932
29
Abbe Niles on Ellington 1929
40
The Duke Steps Out 1931
46
Ellington Crowned King of Jazz
54
First Trip Abroad 1933
67
Ellington at the Palladium 1933
75
Gary Giddins on the Sacred Concerts 1975
375
Gary Giddins on The AfroEurasian Eclipse 1976
379
The Funeral Address 1974
381
EX Selected Commentary and Criticism 19641993
385
Some Reflections on Ellingtons Longer Works 1964 revised 1991
387
Homage to Duke Ellington on His Birthday 1969
394
Form Beyond Form 1970 revised 1983 1993
400
From The Hero and the Blues 1973
412

Duke Ellington at the Salle Pleyel 1946
81
My Hunt for Song Titles 1933
87
Introducing Duke Ellington 1933
93
In Defense of Ellington and
121
Black Brown and Beige 1943
153
Program for the First Carnegie Hall Concert
160
The Debate in Jazz 1943
170
The Fifties
263
A Masterpiece Concerto for Cootie 1954
276
An African View of Ellington 1955
289
Why Did Ellington Remake
297
Vffl The Late Years 19601974
317
Where Is Jazz Going? 1962 324J
324
Dukes Creole Rhapsody 1963
347
Reminiscing in Tempo A Landmark in Jazz Composition 1964
355
Reminiscing in Tempo 1964
358
This Cat Needs No Pulitzer Prize 1965
362
The Most Essential Instrument 1965
368
Program Note for A Concert of Sacred Music 1965
371
Rex Stewart at a Recording Session for the First Sacred Concert 1966
373
Ellington in the Pantheon 1974
414
The Case for Ellingtons Music as Living Repertory 1974
418
Duke Ellington 1940 1978
421
Stanley Crouch on Such Sweet Thunder Suite Thursday and Anatomy of a Murder 1988
439
Ellingtonians
447
Impressions of Johnny Hodges 1936
449
The Duke EllingtonsCotton Clubbers En Masse 1937
451
Roger Pryor Dodge on Bubber Miley 1940
454
Ivie Anderson 1942
458
Al Sears Interviewed by George T Simon 1944
460
Three Interviews 1945
462
Tricky Sam Nanton
465
Rex Stewart
468
Harry Carney and Johnny Hodges Interviewed by Don DeMichael 1962
471
Illustrious Barney Bigard 1966
476
Guitarist Freddy Guy Interviewed by John McDonough 1969
481
Eulogy for Swee Pea 1967
504
70 Dan Morgenstern on The Ellington Era 1963 350
507
Copyright

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About the author (1993)


About the Editor:
Mark Tucker, author of Ellington: The Early Years, is Associate Professor of Music at Columbia University.

Bibliographic information