June 24, 2020 0 By admin

Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn jazz article by Joel Roberts, published on March 8, at All About Jazz. Find more Book Reviews. Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn. Billy Strayhorn () was one of the greatest composers in the history of American music, the creator of a body of . Billy Strayhorn Strayhorn was a teenager when he wrote most of the song, which was to become his signature Nat King Cole performed “Lush Life” in , while trumpeter Harry James recorded it four times.

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Hajdu an editor at Entertainment Weekly has found a perfect subject in Strayhorn, a little-studied figure central to jazz history, the composer of such famous Ellington-band pieces as “”Chelsea Bridge,”” “”Lush Life,”” and “”Take the A Train. He wrote an entire Gershwin-like musical revue a year out of high school, full of sophisticated lfe and advanced harmony. He yearned for a career in concert music.


Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn |

But, as Hajdu points out, he was a “”triple minority””: His break came inwhen he met Duke Ellington; possessed of both a supernal cool and a tenacious business sense, Ellington knew Strayhorn was gifted and worked out a deal. Hajdu meticulously recreates this unusual agreement: Ellington gave Strayhorn free rein to strauhorn his Ellington-influenced composistional sense run wild, but he gave Strays no by-line and, as Strayhorn would find out, no publishing royalties.

At first, Sgrayhorn submitted to Ellington’s benevolent dictatorship.

Eventually, though, his compositions moved beyond If influence; as he grew increasingly depressed by his obscurity, he transcended the ghost-writing arrangement to achieve his own, dark style and a small measure of fame. As one of his friends told Hajdu, both Ellington’s and Strayhorn’s music was great, the difference was that Strayhorn’s “”was so full of feeling. Hajdu gets deeply felt and non-mythologizing input from important members of Strayhorn’s protective circle, including ex-lovers and close friends Lena Horne’s reminiscences are extraordinarily moving.


Lush Life (jazz song)

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A Biography of Billy Strayhorn By. Please provide an email address. Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger.