The Duke Ellington Reader

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1995 - Music - 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
Ellington on Washington D C 1973
5
First New York Review 1923
21
Reviews from the Kentucky Club 1925
22
The Washingtonians Set New England Dance Crazy 1927
24
Cotton Club Bandleader 19271932
29
First Cotton Club Review 1927
31
Criticism in the Phonograph Monthly Review 19271931
33
Certainly Its Music 1944
246
Swing Is My Beat 1944
248
An Ellington Solo Piano Transcription in Down Beat 1944
250
Why Duke Ellington Avoided Music Schools 1945
252
A Conference with Duke Ellington 1947
255
Alec Wilder on Ellington 1948
258
The Fifties
263
Ellingtons Silver Jubilee in Down Beat 1952
265

Abbe Niles on Ellington 1929
40
Two Early Interviews 1930
41
Janet Mabie in the Christian Science Monitor
42
Florence Zunser in the New York Evening Graphic
44
The Duke Steps Out 1931
46
The Ellington Orchestra in Cleveland 1931
50
Ellington Crowned King of Jazz by the Pittsburgh Courier 1931
54
R D Darrells Black Beauty 1932
57
HI First Trip Abroad 1933
67
Impressions of Ellington in New York 1933
69
Meet the Duke 1933
72
Ellington at the Palladium 1933
75
On the Air in London 1933
78
Ellington Defends His Music 1933
80
Duke Ellington at the Salle Pleyel 1946
81
My Hunt for Song Titles 1933
87
Into the Swing Era 19331942
91
Introducing Duke Ellington 1933
93
The Secret of the Ellington Orchestra 1933
98
Profile of Ellington in the Music Lovers Guide 1934
102
Roger Pryor Dodge on Black and Tan Fantasy from Harpsichords and Jazz Trumpets 1934
105
Constant Lambert on Ellington 1934
110
Ellingtons Response to Lambert 1935
112
Ellington on Gershwins Porgy and Bess and a Response from the Office of Irving Mills 19351936
114
The Tragedy of Duke Ellington 1935
118
In Defense of Ellington and His Reminiscing in Tempo 1936
121
The Ellington Orchestra at the Apollo 1936
125
Ellington in an Encyclopedia 1936
127
Ellington Refutes Cry That Swing Started Sex Crimes 1937
128
Aaron Copland on Ellington 1938
130
From Where I Lie 1938
131
On Swing and Its Critics 1939
132
The Parting of Ellington and Irving Mills 1939
140
Wilder Hobson on Ellington from Jazzmen 1939
141
A Celebrity Interview 1941
143
We Too Sing America 1941
146
On Jump for Joy Opera and Dissonance as a Way of Life 1941
148
Black Brown and Beige 1943
153
Previews of the First Carnegie Hall Concert 1943
155
Howard Taubman in the New York Times Magazine
158
Program for the First Carnegie Hall Concert 23 January 1943
160
Two Reviews 1943
165
Mike Levin in Down Beat
166
The Debate in Jazz 1943
170
Is the Duke Deserting Jazz?
171
Leonard Feather Rebuts Hammond
173
The Case of Jazz Music
175
Black Brown and Beige in a List of Classical Records 1946
178
Black Brown and Beige After 16 Years 1959
179
Black Brown Beige 19741975
185
The Hot Bach 19431949
205
Ellingtons Defense of Jazz 19431944
207
Carnegie Revisited 19431944
209
The Hot Bach 1944
214
Lists of Favorites
268
The Ellington Effect
269
Ned Williams on Early Ellingtonia
271
I Split with Duke When Music Began Sidetracking
274
A Masterpiece Concerto for Cootie 1954
276
An African View of Ellington 1955
289
Ellington at Newport 1956
290
The Race for Space ca late 1957
293
Why Did Ellington Remake His Masterpiece? 1958
297
Selections from The Jazz Review 1959
302
The Style of Duke Ellington
303
Quincy Jones on Newport 1958
311
Max Harrison on Anatomy of a Murder
313
The Late Years 19601974
317
When Duke Records 1960
319
Where Is Jazz Going? 1962
324
On the Road with the Duke Ellington Orchestra 1962
326
The Art Is in the Cooking 1962
332
Ellington on the Air in Vancouver 1962
338
Duke Ellington1963 1963
342
Dukes Creole Rhapsody 1963
347
Dan Morgenstern on The Ellington Era 1963
350
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
Gary Giddins on the Sacred Concerts 1975
375
Gary Giddins on The AfroEurasian Eclipse 1976
379
The Funeral Address 1974
381
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
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
Billy Strayhorn Interviewed by Bill Coss 1962
498
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About the author (1995)


Mark Tucker, author of Ellington: The Early Years, was Associate Professor of Music at Columbia University when this book first appeared. He died in 2000 (at age forty-six) and had begun work on a book about Thelonious Monk.

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