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ghost of miles

A Duke Ellington bibliography

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Heh, heh, heh... you purposely skipped Collier's and Teachout's bios... ;)

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6 hours ago, EKE BBB said:

Heh, heh, heh... you purposely skipped Collier's and Teachout's bios... ;)

By rights I felt I could recommend only books that I'd at least read in part.  ;)

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David - Great list! 

A couple you might consider adding:

  • W.E. Timner's Ellingtonia: The Recorded Music of Duke Ellington and His Sidemen. 
    A trove of useful info.
     
  • Mercer Ellington's Duke Ellington in Person: An Intimate Memoir.  
    Especially interesting since it's written from an insider's point of view. (Or at least as "inside" as anyone ever got with Ellington.)

And -- like EKE BBB -- I applaud your exclusion of Collier's and Teachout's biographies. :tup 

 

Edited by HutchFan

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32 minutes ago, HutchFan said:

David - Great list! 

A couple you might consider adding:

  • W.E. Timner's Ellingtonia: The Recorded Music of Duke Ellington and His Sidemen. 
    A trove of useful info.
     
  • Mercer Ellington's Duke Ellington in Person: An Intimate Memoir.  
    Especially interesting since it's written from an insider's point of view. (Or at least as "inside" as anyone ever got with Ellington.)

And -- like EKE BBB -- I applaud your exclusion of Collier's and Teachout's biographies. :tup 

 

Thanks so much!  I'm particularly intrigued by the Timner, though I'd like to read Mercer's book as well.  I'm going to add a sub-list of DKE books to the post that have been recommended by others like you.  Much appreciation!  Btw, to all DKE devotees in general... if you haven't gotten the Eddie Lambert book, somehow try to track it down!! It's invaluable. 

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Strong Seconds for the Mercer book. 1978 was a very "interesting" time in Post-Duke Ellington world, and the POV that Mercer's bringing here definitely reflects that. I got the old DaCapo paperback back in the day, and I think it's still available in copious quantities at popular prices?

Very highly recommended!

9780306801044-us.jpg

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10 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Strong Seconds for the Mercer book. 1978 was a very "interesting" time in Post-Duke Ellington world, and the POV that Mercer's bringing here definitely reflects that. I got the old DaCapo paperback back in the day, and I think it's still available in copious quantities at popular prices?

Very highly recommended!

9780306801044-us.jpg

Definitely going to get this as well (gonna have to save my pennies and then some for the Timner that HutchFan also recommended) and have an interest in the period to which you refer (inspired as well by the presence of Indiana saxophonist David Young in that late-70s Mercer-led Ellington orchestra.  I have a recording of them doing "Three Black Kings" in Warsaw, iirc).

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If you can find it (and afford it) the 2 volume New DESOR lists nearly every known extant recorded performance by Ellington and breaks down each song while naming each soloist.   Timner is not as complete but is cheaper and I believe easier to find.  

Edited by medjuck

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25 minutes ago, ghost of miles said:

Definitely going to get this as well (gonna have to save my pennies and then some for the Timner that HutchFan also recommended) and have an interest in the period to which you refer (inspired as well by the presence of Indiana saxophonist David Young in that late-70s Mercer-led Ellington orchestra.  I have a recording of them doing "Three Black Kings" in Warsaw, iirc).

There was a local saxophonist named Ron Brown who was on the band in the mid-70s, and every time he'd come home/back, we'd hear the inside skinny. Nothing scandalous or such, just that the business was really complicated. Mercer wanted to resist becoming a ghost band, and that's about all the marketplace had an interest in. Mercer was really hardcore about it too, and as best I could gather, the business sides of The Worlds Of Duke Ellington got a little, uh...frictional, which didn't make anything easier for anybody.

So yeah, Mercer has a lot of interesting things to say in this book. A lot. It's a real time look at all the currents that were already beginning to swirl that you hear on that The Last Trip To Paris record. It didn't end when Duke died, and it's not unfair to ask if they've ever really stopped completely.

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There's Don George's "Sweet man: the real Duke Ellington", which is a memoir in the form of a collection of anecdotes. I haven't read it cover to cover, but the bits I did read I enjoyed. How accurate is it? I don't know, though Don George *should* know a great deal about Duke.

And Derek Jewell's "Duke", which I read a very long time ago and remember liking at the time.

There's the Hajdu biography of Strayhorn. That's definitely worth listing.

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I've read "Sweet Man" and enjoyed it, though it is frowned on by most EKE scholars because it spends so much time on Duke's and George's sexual exploits.  More anecdotal than scholarly  and apparently not reliable. (He talks a lot about Duke's last live appearance which no one else seems to be able to verify.) 

Actually since I first posted this I've verified this last live appearance myself. 

Edited by medjuck

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Last live appearance where? Doing what?

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March 1974: Benefit for St. Clare's Hospital at the Waldorf Astoria.  George describes it in detail but none of the Ellington scholars I've asked have found any reference to it.  Maybe he got the date wrong. 

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Solo piano?

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From the description I presume so.  If you check David Palmquist's TDWAW site Duke's March itinerary doesn't leave much room for such a concert unless it's one of the last two days before he went into the hospital.  I haven't been able to find a reference to this performance  on-line but I'm not that good at such research. 

http://tdwaw.ellingtonweb.ca/TDWAW.html#Yr1974

Edited by medjuck

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"Duke Ellington" by Barry Ulanov

"Duke Ellington His Life and Music" by Peter Gammond 

Two earlier works.

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A few additions:

- "Duke Ellington: An American Composer and Icon" by Steven Brower and Mercedes Ellington

-"Duke Ellington and His World" by A.H. Lawrence

-"Duke Ellington, Jazz Composer" by Ken Rattenbury

-"Duke's Diary, Part I: The Life of Duke Ellington, 1927-1950" by Ken Vail

-"Duke's Diary, Part 2: The Life of Duke Ellington, 1950-1974" by Ken Vail

-"Backstory in Blue: Ellington at Newport '56" by John Fass Morton

-"Duke: The Musical Life of Duke Ellington" by Bill Gutman

-"Duke's 'Bones. Ellington's Great Trombonists" by Kurt Dietrich

And finally, it is due to bring the reference to the most updated and complete (by far!) Duke Ellington chronology, compiled by our fellow Canadian EKE researcher David Palmquist, "The Duke, Where And When (TDWAW)":

http://tdwaw.ellingtonweb.ca/TDWAW.html

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On 4/30/2019 at 9:06 AM, JSngry said:

Solo piano?

With orchestra.  Here's the result of my research:  check March 9, 1974.  http://tdwaw.ellingtonweb.ca/TDWAW.html#Yr1974

Don Georges's description of this concert is quite moving. And I was wrong that this was EKE's last public appearance-- he and the band played at least two more concerts later in the month. 

 

 

Edited by medjuck

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