The relationship between Duke and Billy Strayhorn was complex and worthy of a few PhD dissertations for sure. What is never a mystery however is the result: rich, original, unforgettable, timeless. This contribution is from a regular commentator. Many thanks, M.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Here's just a little taste of the GENIUS of Billy Strayhorn, the gay, black writer, arranger who wrote and arranged so many of Duke Ellington's hits, including "Take the A Train."
Go the library or a good book store and read "Lush Life," the wonderful bio of Strayhorn. Without him, there was no American music.
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Finally, go to your specialty video store - Videomatica on 4th Avenue is a great one, and their website is right here in the right-hand column - and rent "A Night To Remember," made in 1958. Not anywhere near as spectacular as James Cameron's great and great, big movie, it is nevertheless just as powerful for the way all the stories told become one tragic and terrifying story.
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