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The Cambridge Companion to Duke Ellington
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    • Online ISBN: 9781139021357
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Book description

Duke Ellington is widely held to be the greatest jazz composer and one of the most significant cultural icons of the twentieth century. This comprehensive and accessible Companion is the first collection of essays to survey, in depth, Ellington's career, music, and place in popular culture. An international cast of authors includes renowned scholars, critics, composers, and jazz musicians. Organized in three parts, the Companion first sets Ellington's life and work in context, providing new information about his formative years, method of composing, interactions with other musicians, and activities abroad; its second part gives a complete artistic biography of Ellington; and the final section is a series of specific musical studies, including chapters on Ellington and song-writing, the jazz piano, descriptive music, and the blues. Featuring a chronology of the composer's life and major recordings, this book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in Ellington's enduring artistic legacy.


‘This volume offers a treasure trove for musicologists. Though the depth of its entries ranges widely, several chapters constitute major contributions to musicology, on a par with the level of original research and interpretation ordinarily reserved for doctoral theses. It also features an excellent bibliography of selected readings and a comprehensive index.’

Mark Gridley Source: Music Reference Services Quarterly

'Essential reading - addressed to anyone who wants to deepen his knowledge of one of the most significant cultural icons of the twentieth century.'

Danny Camerlengo Source: Suono (Italy)

‘For the Ellington fan, the Ellington scholar, for anyone remotely interested in learning more about the man whom Green quite rightly calls 'America’s greatest composer', The Cambridge Companion to Duke Ellington is indispensable.’

Mick Carlon Source: JazzTimes

'The book is extraordinary indeed!'

Thomas Riis - Director of the American Music Research Center, University of Colorado

'[I] couldn’t stop reading it. I am glad it has been published and the book can be recommended highly.'

Louis Tavecchio - Universiteit van Amsterdam

'This Cambridge Companion helps the reader see two divide-and-conquer approaches to his artistic oeuvre: by decade, and by genres such as suites, songs, and the blues. Elling-tonians and professors will read this book from cover to cover, and students needing material for jazz term papers will be thankful for the analyses of individual pieces that are embedded in some of the essays.'

Edward Komara Source: Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

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On Two Conceptions of Aesthetic Realism,” British Journal of Aesthetics 45/4 (October 2005): 438–40

Olly W. Wilson , “The Significance of the Relationship Between Afro-American Music and West African Music,” Black Perspectives in Music 2/1 (1974): 3–22

Glenn Watkins , Pyramids at the Louvre: Music, Culture, and Collage from Stravinsky to the Postmodernists (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994), 135

Olly W. Wilson , “Black Music as an Art Form,” Black Music Research Journal 3/2 (1983): 1–22

Jeffrey Magee , The Uncrowned King of Swing: Fletcher Henderson and Big Band Jazz (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 5–6, 28–33

Harvey G. Cohen , “The Marketing of Duke Ellington: Setting the Strategy for an African American Maestro,” The Journal of African American History 89/4 (Autumn 2004): 301

Jeffrey Magee , “Ragtime and Early Jazz,” in David Nicholls , ed., The Cambridge History of American Music (Cambridge University Press, 1998), 396–97

Harvey Cohen , Duke Ellington’s America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), 148–53

Andrew Homzy , “Black, Brown and Beige in Duke Ellington’s Repertoire, 1943–1973,” Black Music Research Journal 13/2 (1993): 89

Edward Green , “‘It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Grundgestalt! – Ellington from a Motivic Perspective,” Jazz Perspectives 2/2 (2008): 245

Walter van de Leur , Something to Live For: The Music of Billy Strayhorn (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002)

Lewis A. Erenberg Swingin’ the Dream: Big Band Jazz and the Rebirth of American Culture. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1998.

Maurice Peress . Dvořák to Duke Ellington: A Conductor Explores America’s Music and Its African American Roots. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Ryan Paul Bañagale . “Rewriting the Narrative One Arrangement at a Time: Duke Ellington and Rhapsody in Blue.” Jazz Perspectives 6/1–2 (2012): 5–27.

Lisa Barg , and Walter van de Leur . “‘Your Music Has Flung the Story of “Hot Harlem” to the Four Corners of the Earth!’: Race and Narrative in Black, Brown and Beige.” Musical Quarterly 96 (2013): 426–58.

Michael Baumgartner . “Duke Ellington’s ‘East St. Louis Toodle-O’ Revisited.” Jazz Perspectives 6/1–2 (2012): 29–56.

Andrew Berish . “Leisure, Love, and Dreams in Depression America: Duke Ellington and Tin Pan Alley Song.” Musical Quarterly 96 (2013): 339–68.

Andrew Berish . “A Locomotive Laboratory of Place: Duke Ellington and His Orchestra.” In Lonesome Roads and Streets of Dreams: Place, Mobility, and Race in Jazz of the 1930s and ’40s. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.

George Burrows . “Black, Brown and Beige and the Politics of Signifyin(g): Towards a Critical Understanding of Duke Ellington.” Jazz Research Journal 1 (May 2007): 45–71.

Harvey G. Cohen Duke Ellington and Black, Brown and Beige: The Composer as Historian at Carnegie Hall.” American Quarterly 56/4 (Dec 2004): 1003–34.

Harvey G. Cohen Duke Ellington on Film in the 1930s.” Musical Quarterly 96 (2013): 406–25.

Felix Cox . “Duke Ellington as Composer: Two Pieces for Paul Whiteman.” Jazz Perspectives 6/1–2 (2012): 57–74.

Scott DeVeaux . “Black, Brown and Beige and the Critics.” Black Music Research Journal 13/2 (Fall 1993): 125–46.

Kurt Dietrich . “The Role of Trombones in Black, Brown and Beige.” Black Music Research Journal 13/2 (Fall 1993): 111–24.

Richard Domek . “The Late Duke: Ellington’s and Strayhorn’s Music for Anatomy of a Murder Considered.” Jazz Perspectives 6/1–2 (2012): 75–121.

Olle Edström . “Ellington in Sweden.” Musical Quarterly 96 (2013): 478–512.

Brent Hayes Edwards . “The Literary Ellington.” Representations 77 (Winter 2002): 1–29. Reprinted in Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies, edited by Robert G. O’Meally et al. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.

Nicholas L. Gaffney ‘He Was a Man Who Walked Tall Among Men’: Duke Ellington, African American Audiences, and the Black Musical Entertainment Market, 1927–1943.” The Journal of African American History 98/3 (Summer 2013): 367–91.

Edward Green . “‘Harlem Air Shaft’: A True Programmatic Composition?Journal of Jazz Studies 7/1 (2011): 28–46.

John Hasse . “‘A New Reason for Living’: Duke Ellington in France.” Nottingham French Studies 43/1 (Spring 2004): 5–18.

Sjef Hoefsmit . “Chronology of Ellington’s Recordings and Performances of Black, Brown and Beige, 1943–1973.” Edited by Andrew Homzy . Black Music Research Journal 13/2 (Fall 1993): 161–73.

John Howland . “Ellingtonia, Historically Speaking.” Musical Quarterly 96 (2013): 331–38.

Theodore R. Hudson Duke Ellington’s Literary Sources.” American Music 9/1 (Spring 1991): 20–42.

Travis A. Jackson Tourist Point of View? Musics of the World and Ellington’s Suites.” Musical Quarterly 96 (2013): 513–40.

Aaron J. Johnson A Date with the Duke: Ellington on Radio.” Musical Quarterly 96 (2013): 369–405.

Wolfram Knauer . “‘Simulated Improvisation’ in Duke Ellington’s Black, Brown and Beige.” The Black Perspective in Music 18 (1990): 20–38.

Mark Lomanno . “Ellington’s Lens as Motive Mediating: Improvising Voices in TheFar East Suite.” Jazz Perspectives 6/1–2 (2012): 151–77.

Laurie McManus . “Ambiguity of Identity in the ‘Global Village’: Ellington, McLuhan, and TheAfro-Eurasian Eclipse.” Jazz Perspectives 6/1–2 (2012): 179–96.

David Metzer . “Shadow Play: The Spiritual in Duke Ellington’s Black and Tan Fantasy.” Black Music Research Journal 17/2 (Autumn 1997): 137–58.

Maurice Peress . “My Life with Black, Brown and Beige.” Black Music Research Journal 13/2 (Fall 1993): 147–60.

David Schiff . “Symphonic Ellington? Rehearing New World A-Comin’.” Musical Quarterly 96 (2013): 459–77.

Kimberley Hannon Teal . “Beyond the Cotton Club: The Persistence of Duke Ellington’s Jungle Style.” Jazz Perspectives 6/1–2 (2012): 123–49.

Mark Tucker . “The Genesis of Black, Brown and Beige.” Black Music Research Journal 13/2 (Fall 1993): 67–86.

Shane Vogel . “Madam Zajj and US Steel: Blackness, Bioperformance, and Duke Ellington’s Calypso Theater.” Social Text 30/4 (Winter 2012): 1–24.

Tim Wall . “Duke Ellington, Radio Remotes, and the Mediation of Big City Nightlife, 1927 to 1933.” Jazz Perspectives 6/1–2 (2012): 197–222.

Ron Welburn . “Duke Ellington’s Music: The Catalyst for a True Jazz Criticism.” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 17/1 (June 1986): 111–22.

Patricia Willard . “Dance: The Unsung Element of Ellingtonia.” The Antioch Review 57/3 (Summer 1999): 402–14.

J. Kent Williams . “Hodges at Newport: The Rhetoric of ‘Jeep’s Blues’.” Jazz Perspectives 6/1–2 (2012): 247–63.

Katherine Williams . “Improvisation as Composition: Fixity of Form and Collaborative Composition in Duke Ellington’s Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue.” Jazz Perspectives 6/1–2 (2012): 223–46.

Stefano Zenni . “The Aesthetics of Duke Ellington’s Suites: The Case of ‘Togo Brava’.” Black Music Research Journal 21/1 (Spring 2001): 1–28.


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