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New Duke Ellington Bio Offers New Insights Into The Jazz Giant
Duke Ellington was — in addition to being a genius and a charmer — something of a B.S. artist. That's one of the character traits that comes through in Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington, the fast-moving, well-balanced and astonishing new biography by Terry Teachout. Ellington was suave and debonair, a master of the orotund phrase, with a regal delivery and demeanor that fit his name. He was, as Teachout makes plain, a musical visionary, but Ellington was also a complicated and unknowable character, one who didn't reveal his true self to many, and whose creative skills seemed to depend, in part, on surrounding himself with talented collaborators and sidemen.
By John Adamian
November 26, 2013