Duke Ellington (1899-1974) is widely considered the jazz tradition's most celebrated composer. This engaging yet scholarly volume explores his long career and his rich cultural legacy from a broad range of in-depth perspectives, from the musical and historical to the political and international. World-renowned scholars and musicians examine Ellington's influence on jazz music, its criticism, and its historiography. The chronological structure of the volume allows a clear understanding of the development of key themes, with chapters surveying his work and his reception in America and abroad. By both expanding and reconsidering the contexts in which Ellington, his orchestra, and his music are discussed, Duke Ellington Studies reflects a wealth of new directions that have emerged in jazz studies, including focuses on music in media, class hierarchy discourse, globalization, cross-cultural reception, and the role of marketing, as well as manuscript score studies and performance studies.
1. Ellington the entertainer: pageantry and prophecy in Duke Ellington's films Phil Ford; 2. Marketing to the middlebrow: reconsidering Ellingtonia, the legacy of early Ellington criticism, and the idea of a 'serious' jazz composer John Howland; 3. 'Art or debauchery?': the reception of Ellington in the UK Catherine Tackley; 4. 'Nobody was looking': the unparalleled jazz piano legacy of Duke Ellington Bill Dobbins; 5. 'People wrap their lunches in them': Duke Ellington and his written music manuscripts Walter van de Leur; 6. The moor's revenge: the politics of Such Sweet Thunder David Schiff; 7. Duke Ellington in the LP era Gabriel Solis; 8. Authentic synthetic hybrid: Ellington's concepts of Africa and its music Carl Woideck; 9. 'The mother of all albums': revisiting Ellington's A Drum is a Woman John Wriggle.
John Howland is Professor of Music History at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim and formerly an associate professor of musicology, jazz studies, and American Studies at Rutgers University, New Jersey. He is the co-founder and former editor of the journal Jazz Perspectives, as well as the author of 'Ellington Uptown': Duke Ellington, James P. Johnson, and the Birth of Concert Jazz (2009).
Reviews for Duke Ellington Studies
'Few publications among the literature on Duke Ellington to have appeared in recent years ... can claim to have shed as much light on their subject as the impressive collection of essays assembled by John Howland for his new symposium, Duke Ellington Studies.' Mervyn Cooke, Music and Letters