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Joe

"Black, Brown, and Beige: Duke Ellington’s music and race in Ameri

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In the latest NEW YORKER.

What was he thinking? What did he feel about—what did he contribute to—the mire of American race relations during the last century? Harvey G. Cohen’s “Duke Ellington’s America” (Chicago; $40) attempts to get under the skin of this apparently most imperturbable of men, and the results, if hardly conclusive, are fascinating. One of Ellington’s few confidantes, his sister, Ruth, believed that he concealed himself under “veil upon veil upon veil,” and Cohen is not the first Ellingtonian to treasure the smallest telltale sign of his subject’s human susceptibilities.

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2010/05/17/100517crat_atlarge_pierpont

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Glad to see this book get such a high-profile review--I'm about 2/5 of the way through and hoping to write up something for the Night Lights site.

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