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Duke Ellington - Book Report/Review Example

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C Duke Ellington attended Armstrong Manual Training school to study commercial art. During his free time, Duke checked out ragtime pianists in Washington D.C. Harvey Brooks helped Duke to continue with his piano lessons. Later Oliver Perry and Louis…
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Duke Ellington
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Duke Ellington

Elingtons most distinctive ensemble sounds in western music were created shortly before his demise to cancer in 1974 (Blair 38).
Duke formed his first group called “The Duke Serenades” and performed in the Washington D.C., but later in 1923 the group moved to New York permanently (Floyd 93). They made their first recording in November 1924 and cut tunes for different companies under a variety of pseudonyms, now have extensive holding of their work. The group increased in size and came under Ellington’s leadership. They played in “jungle”style, their sly arrangement often highlighted by the muted growling sound of trumpeter, a good example of this is Ellington’s first signature song, East St. Louis Toodle-oo,”which the band first recorded in 1926. On November 4, 1927 the Ellington band moved to The Cotton Club in Harlem. Their residency at the club lasted for more than three years, which turned him a nationally known celebrity due to radio airplay that stemmed from the bandstand. Similarly, Ellington scooped a top five hit with an instrumental form of one of his pieces, “Mood Indigo” released on Victor. Ellingtons instrumental form turned a top five hit in the last quarter of 1933, “Sophisticated Lady,” with its flip side’ a treatment of “Stormy Weather, “also making the top five (Floyd 94). After several years of recording for Brunswick, Ellington shifted to Victor. At the beginning of 1939, Billy Strayhorn, a young composer, organizer, and piano player joined the team, he became Ellington‘s composition partner (Floyd 102). In 1946, he ganged with lyricist John Latouche to compose the theme song for the Broadway musical Beggar Holiday, which span108 performances. He authored his first full-length theme score for a characteristic movie with 1950’s The Asphalt Jungle.
His works continue to be an inspiration especially in the fields of music and ... Read More
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