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New Duke Ellington Bio Offers New Insights Into The Jazz Giant

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...

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