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The Duke Ellington Reader - Mark Tucker

The Duke Ellington Reader

Paperback

Published: 1st May 1999
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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.

"Tucker has done for Ellington what Arthur Mendel did for Bach. This is a superb reader."--American Music "This collection includes praise, criticism and even some of Ellington's own words. It is full of excellent writing."--The New York Times Book Review "Tucker has done for Ellington what Arthur Mendel did for Bach. This is a superb reader."--American Music "An anthology of interviews, essays, and reviews covering the widest possible range of writing on and by Ellington...it is astonishingly good value and is a 'must buy' for Ellington fans."--Vintage Jazz Mart "This collection includes praise, criticism and even some of Ellington's own words. It is full of excellent writing."--The New York Times Book Review "This anthology further confirms [Ellington's] permanency in the American cultural pantheon. It aims to include the most important articles ever written about Ellington and his greatest musicians, including some of Ellington's own writings, analyses of scores, interviews, and pieces of historical interest....Other essays fascinatingly show the evolution of critical views of American popular music....Another development made apparent is the change in attitudes towards Ellington's accomplishments as racial attitudes changed."--Booklist "Draws upon the Ellington archives at the Smithsonian, as well as previously unknown family papers, to present a rich portrait of Ellington's life. Hasse also suggests essential selections from the more than 400 Ellington CDs now available. Tucker's Reader brings together more than 100 of the best interviews, reviews, and essays about Ellington (including 12 pieces by Duke himself) in an extraordinary volume for fans and scholars alike."--Playboy "This first historical anthology of writings about Ellington's life and music, ably edited by Columbia University music professor Tucker, is a treasure chest of some 100 essays and remembrances by such authors as Ralph Ellison, Gunther Schuller, Stanley Crouch, Nat Hentoff, Albert Murray and Stanley Dance."--Publishers Weekly "Tucker has put together a tome that makes it finally possible for the general reader to get a comprehensive grasp of many of the essentials of Ellington as a person, musician, bandleader, and philosopher of music. Ranging from Ellington's earliest and formative years as a musician to his latest years on the American musical scene, these 101 essays offer critical insights into Ellington's musical and social thought and into the developing thought of others about Ellington's musical output and position in American musical culture. The essays about his sidemen shed light not only on their particular roles in the Ellington musical mix, but also even on the Ellington brilliance and mystique. This book is 'must' reading for all who would have a broad and fundamental understanding of music in, of, and about the United States."--Samuel A. Floyd, Jr., Director, Center for Black Music Research "The Duke Ellington Reader is a wonderful compilation of ideas and information, and it is very well organized and edited. A must for anyone seriously interested in twentieth-century music, The Duke Ellington Reader is an important book which contains many unique and insightful perspectives on the creativity of Ellington, including Ellington's own. Mark Tucker has given us an invaluable look into that enormous and uniquely creative world of one of the true geniuses of the twentieth century."--Kenny Burrell, composer and jazz recording artist "Here is a book, authoritatively edited by Mark Tucker, that deserves to be in the library of all lovers of Ellington and his music, jazz, or American culture in the twentieth century. Many of these pieces, astutely chosen by Tucker, are absolute gems of musical criticism or social observation, and the entire book amounts to a rich treasury that immeasurably expands our understanding of one of America's authentic national treasures, Duke Ellington."--Arnold Rampersad, author of Art and Imagination of W. E. B. Du Bois "The depth and breadth of this collection of writings is truly amazing. Some of the pieces in this collection (which includes interviews, previews, reviews, critiques, reminiscences etc.) will make you laugh; some will touch your heart; some will challenge your Ellington images and yet others will make you mad as hell. Whichever the case, you will find it extremely difficult to put this book down once you have begun reading it. The Duke Ellington Reader is an absoloute must for anyone even remotely interested in Ellington specifically and in jazz and American music in general."--David N. Baker, author of New Perspectives on Jazz

Introduction
Early Years (1899-1927)p. 3
Ellington on Washington, D. C. (1973)p. 5
The Washingtonians: First New York Review (1923)p. 21
Reviews from the Kentucky Club (1925)p. 22
The Washingtonians "Set New England Dance Crazy" (1927)p. 24
Cotton Club Bandleader (1927-1932)p. 29
First Cotton Club Review (1927)p. 31
R. D. Darrell: Criticism in the Phonograph Monthly Review (1927-1931)p. 33
Abbe Niles on Ellington (1929)p. 40
Two Early Interviews (1930)p. 41
Janet Mabie in the Christian Science Monitorp. 42
Florence Zunser in the New York Evening Graphicp. 44
Ellington's First Article: "The Duke Steps Out" (1931)p. 46
The Ellington Orchestra in Cleveland (1931)p. 50
Ellington Crowned "King of Jazz" by the Pittsburgh Courier (1931)p. 54
A Landmark in Ellington Criticism: R. D. Darrell's "Black Beauty" (1932)p. 57
First Trip Abroad (1933)p. 67
Spike Hughes: Impressions of Ellington in New York (1933)p. 69
Spike Hughes: "Meet the Duke!" (1933)p. 72
Ellington at the Palladium (1933)p. 75
On the Air in London (1933)p. 78
Ellington Defends His Music (1933)p. 80
Hugues Panassie: "Duke Ellington at the Salle Pleyel" (1946)p. 81
Ellington: "My Hunt for Song Titles" (1933)p. 87
Into the Swing Era (1933-1942)p. 91
Wilder Hobson: "Introducing Duke Ellington" (1933)p. 93
The "Secret" of the Ellington Orchestra (1933)p. 98
Warren W. Scholl: Profile of Ellington in the Music Lovers' Guide (1934)p. 102
Roger Pryor Dodge on Black and Tan Fantasy, from "Harpsichords and Jazz Trumpets" (1934)p. 105
Constant Lambert on Ellington (1934)p. 110
Ellington's Response to Lambert (1935)p. 112
Ellington on Gershwin's Porgy and Bess - and a Response from the Office of Irving Mills (1935/1936)p. 114
John Hammond: "The Tragedy of Duke Ellington" (1935)p. 118
Enzo Archetti: "In Defense of Ellington and His 'Reminiscing in Tempo'" (1936)p. 121
Helen Oakley (Dance): The Ellington Orchestra at the Apollo (1936)p. 125
R. D. Darrell: Ellington in an Encyclopedia (1936)p. 127
"Ellington Refutes Cry That Swing Started Sex Crimes!" (1937)p. 128
Aaron Copland on Ellington (1938)p. 130
Ellington: "From Where I Lie" (1938)p. 131
Ellington in Down Beat: On Swing and Its Critics (1939)p. 132
The Parting of Ellington and Irving Mills (1939)p. 140
Wilder Hobson on Ellington, from Jazzmen (1939)p. 141
A Celebrity Interview (1941)p. 143
Ellington: "We, Too, Sing 'America'" (1941)p. 146
Interview in Los Angeles: On Jump for Joy, Opera, and Dissonance as a "Way of Life" (1941)p. 148
Black, Brown and Beige (1943)p. 153
Previews of the First Carnegie Hall Concert (1943)p. 155
Helen Oakley (Dance) in Down Beatp. 155
Howard Taubman in the New York Times Magazinep. 158
Program for the First Carnegie Hall Concert (23 January 1943)p. 160
Two Reviews (1943)p. 165
Paul Bowles in the New York Herald-Tribunep. 165
Mike Levin in Down Beatp. 166
The Debate in Jazz (1943)p. 170
John Hammond: "Is the Duke Deserting Jazz?"p. 171
Leonard Feather: Leonard Feather Rebuts Hammondp. 173
Bob Thiele: "The Case of Jazz Music"p. 175
Black, Brown and Beige in a List of "Classical Records" (1946)p. 178
Robert D. Crowley: "Black, Brown, and Beige After 16 Years" (1959)p. 179
Brian Priestley and Alan Cohen: "Black, Brown and Beige" (1974-1975)p. 185
The Hot Bach (1943-1949)p. 205
Ellington's "Defense of Jazz" (1943/1944)p. 207
Carnegie Revisited (1943/1944)p. 209
Richard O. Boyer: "The Hot Bach" (1944)p. 214
Ellington: "Certainly It's Music!" (1944)p. 246
Ellington: "Swing Is My Beat!" (1944)p. 248
An Ellington Solo Piano Transcription in Down Beat (1944)p. 250
"Why Duke Ellington Avoided Music Schools" (1945)p. 252
"Interpretations in Jazz: A Conference with Duke Ellington" (1947)p. 255
Alec Wilder on Ellington (1948)p. 258
The Fiftiesp. 263
Ellington's Silver Jubilee in Down Beat (1952)p. 265
Ellington on Career Highlightsp. 265
Lists of Favoritesp. 268
Billy Strayhorn: "The Ellington Effect"p. 269
Ned Williams on "Early Ellingtonia"p. 271
Irving Mills: "I Split with Duke When Music Began Sidetracking"p. 274
Andre Hodeir: "A Masterpiece: Concerto for Cootie" (1954)p. 276
An African View of Ellington (1955)p. 289
George Avakian: Ellington at Newport (1956)p. 290
Ellington: "The Race for Space" (ca. late 1957)p. 293
Andre Hodeir: "Why Did Ellington 'Remake' His Masterpiece?" (1958)p. 297
Selections from The Jazz Review (1959)p. 302
Mimi Clar: "The Style of Duke Ellington"p. 303
Quincy Jones on Newport 1958p. 311
Max Harrison on Anatomy of a Murderp. 313
The Late Years (1960-1974)p. 317
Irving Townsend: "When Duke Records" (1960)p. 319
Ellington: "Where Is Jazz Going?" (1962)p. 324
Pete Welding: "On the Road with the Duke Ellington Orchestra" (1962)p. 326
Ellington with Stanley Dance: "The Art Is in the Cooking" (1962)p. 332
Ellington on the Air in Vancouver (1962)p. 338
Eddie Lambert: "Duke Ellington - 1963" (1963)p. 342
A. J. Bishop: "Duke's Creole Rhapsody" (1963)p. 347
Dan Morgenstern on The Ellington Era (1963)p. 350
A. J. Bishop: "'Reminiscing in Tempo': A Landmark in Jazz Composition" (1964)p. 355
Ellington: "Reminiscing in Tempo" (1964)p. 358
Nat Hentoff: "This Cat Needs No Pulitzer Prize" (1965)p. 362
Ellington: "The Most Essential Instrument" (1965)p. 368
Ellington: Program Note for "A Concert of Sacred Music" (1965)p. 371
Rex Stewart at a Recording Session for the First Sacred Concert (1966)p. 373
Gary Giddins on the Sacred Concerts (1975)p. 375
Gary Giddins on The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse (1976)p. 379
Stanley Dance: "The Funeral Address" (1974)p. 381
Selected Commentary and Criticism (1964-1993)p. 385
Max Harrison: "Some Reflections on Ellington's Longer Works" (1964; revised 1991)p. 387
Ralph Ellison: "Homage to Duke Ellington on His Birthday" (1969)p. 394
Martin Williams: "Form Beyond Form" (1970; revised 1983, 1993)p. 400
Albert Murray: From The Hero and the Blues (1973)p. 412
Gunther Schuller: "Ellington in the Pantheon" (1974)p. 414
Gunther Schuller: "The Case for Ellington's Music as Living Repertory" (1974)p. 418
Lawrence Gushee: "Duke Ellington 1940" (1978)p. 421
Stanley Crouch on Such Sweet Thunder, Suite Thursday, and Anatomy of a Murder (1988)p. 439
Ellingtoniansp. 447
Helen Oakley (Dance): "Impressions of Johnny Hodges" (1936)p. 449
"The Duke Ellingtons - Cotton Clubbers En Masse" (1937)p. 451
Roger Pryor Dodge on Bubber Miley (1940)p. 454
Ivie Anderson (1942)p. 458
Reactions of a Newcomer: Al Sears Interviewed by George T. Simon (1944)p. 460
Inez M. Cavanaugh: Three Interviews (1945)p. 462
Otto Hardwickp. 462
"Tricky Sam" Nantonp. 465
Rex Stewartp. 468
Double Play: Harry Carney and Johnny Hodges Interviewed by Don DeMichael (1962)p. 471
Rex Stewart: "Illustrious Barney Bigard" (1966)p. 476
Guitarist Freddy Guy Interviewed by John McDonough (1969)p. 481
Sonny Greer Interviewed by Whitney Balliett (1974)p. 486
Gary Giddins on Paul Gonsalves (1985)p. 491
Stanley Crouch on Ben Webster (1986)p. 493
Billy Strayhorn Interviewed by Bill Coss (1962)p. 498
Ellington: "Eulogy for Swee' Pea" (1967)p. 504
Topical Index of Selectionsp. 505
General Indexp. 509
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195093919
ISBN-10: 0195093917
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 558
Published: 1st May 1999
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 15.24  x 3.81
Weight (kg): 0.77