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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We’ll never know how things might have played out had he not passed away so young, but this book suggests how much we lost the day Billy Strayhorn died by painting a moving portrait of a courageous, uncompromising artist who was truly ahead of his time. Pegasus Book Orphanage Published: Meticulously researched and well written biography of Swee’ Pea.

Strayhorn would have been this year, and one could argue that he was one of the great 20th Century composers. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Jazz Near You Partners.

Used book in very good condition. 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.

Mar 28, Karen rated it it was amazing. Please provide an email address.

It’s a well-written biography; if I had to criticize one thing, it’s that the narrative hustles along from project to project, but never really probes into more than 4 or 5 close relationships of Strayhorn’s.

Strayhorn had two favorite phrases: Certainly if you view his music and that of Ellington’s as that of one man, which much of it kind of was. Hajdu has uncoverred, particularly concerning the early Pittsburgh years and including the copious testimonry of nearly of Strayhorn’s and Ellington’s associates, is staggering, especially in light of how little has been previously published on Staryhorn. Hadju does a good job on the events and people of Strayhorn’s life, but is weak on the under-the-hood music making and light on the extent of his alcoholism.


Nov 08, Ethan Swanson rated it it was amazing. To ask other readers questions about Lush Lifeplease sign up. Nor did he play the victim in racial confrontation, as do many black people today black people today with more resources and access to upward mobility than we ever had back in the 20s and 30s and 40s still choose to see themselves as second class citizens, rather than the originators of American Culture that we are.

Book Reviews Dreaming of Dylan: Whites and blacks can dance together, but only if there’s a clothesline across the middle of the room; and a mixed-race band? Equally as important, Duke was the personification of Strayhorn’s youthful daydreams of urban sophistication and elegance, a milieu Strayhorn was only able to imagine in songs like “Lush Life,” the ultimate paean to cafe society, penned, amazingly, when he was just twenty-one.

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Where Hadju succeeds is in portraying the rich life Strayhorn led as an openly gay black man during the 40’s and 50’s. Never in their long association were Strayhorn’s precise duties steayhorn the Ellington organization clearly defined. Lastly, may be missing components, e. Hajdu is a mast A singularly moving portrait of Strayhorn, black, gay and all but entirely missing from the annals of Americana and jazz.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Lush Life By Hajdu, David. He was also one of the first openly gay black man to live in the public eye, in the 20th century; a bit taboo, considering this was in the s and so fo I picked this book up on a whim in When he bought a new suit, he kept the front pockets sewn up, because his mother had taught him to keep his hands out of his pockets.

This book is scholarly where it needs to be—as when Hajdu teases out the writing credi Absolutely terrific.


Strayhorn discarded public prominence in service to Duke Ellignton and his Orchestra. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

Trivia About Lush Life: Second, there’s the background thread of the civil rights movement. If I could go back in time it would be to Harlem in the jazz age, to sit in a club, have a drink and listen to the music all the geniuses of ztrayhorn time were producing. The internal soul of a servant who lived an outwardly humble existence while stiflin I love jazz because it gives me freedom of mind.

Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn |

Buy with confidence, excellent stryhorn service! This is a song about the deepest set pain known to anyone: Lists with This Book. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. Beautifully detailed and respectful of Strayhorn’s accomplishments and influence on the music. It isn’t normal for me. Billy was strayhorrn a beautiful humble genius, and his tragedy is that he remained the unacknowledged meat and potatoes in Ellington’s melting pot because we didn’t recognize that black and gay are vital components of America’s.

But, as Hajdu points out, he was a “”triple minority””: Sign in or sign up to upload your events. Biigraphy some lucid and eloquent examples, I just didn’t get a lot of it here.

This book is the result of an incredible amount of research and interviews, and fills i When I took a “History of Jazz” class in college, our professor didn’t spend that much time on Billy Strayhorn, but everything he said made biogrsphy big impression: Third, and most of all, the narrative is drenched in period detail. Search Tracks by musician.

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