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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Like other reviewers, I stopped reading periodically in order to listen to the music on yo It would take a very hardened soul who could read this book and not be profoundly moved by the beautiful spirit of Billy Strayhorn.

My Content Membership has its privileges! It is already acknowledged as a jazz classic. Biographt prefer when biographies use some poetic license in the prose- not to make stuff up for god’s sake but to give me some investigative prose.

Password Reset your password. 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 a big impression: A book that comes close to being a model biography. In ways he needed Duke just as Ellington needed his genius.

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Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn

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 work that includes such standards as “Take the ‘A’ Train. Having been a heavy drinker and smoker he died early from esophogeal cancer.

Preview — Lush Life by David Hajdu. Membership has its privileges. North Point Press, Strayhorn’s taste and wit, his relentless drinking, his lovers, his activism in Harlem cultural life and the civil rights movement, his generosity – all are sensitively evoked. Then he really came alive.


His wide-ranging research and interviewing set a high standard. Each week, our editors select the one author and one book they believe to be most worthy of your attention and highlight them in our Pro Connect email alert.

Textbooks may not include supplemental items i. Find Rare Books Book Value. A Biography of Billy Strayhorn,” David Hajdu goes a long way towards remedying this historical oversight by focusing long overdue attention on this shy, modest man who always shunned the spotlight during his lifetime. Book and DJ Very Fine.

No notes or ANY markings. Apr 16, Erica Pearson rated it it was amazing. Lastly, may be missing components, e. Interviews with fr Overall a good book about a very interesting and talented musician who to this day remains unrecognized for the contributions he made to popular music. I love jazz because it gives me freedom of mind. Interviews with friends and associates show a man dear to everyone who knew him. This is one of the best biographies I have ever read, and is definitely my favorite book by David Hajdu.

Sign in or sign up to upload and share your publicity or live event photos. Lists with This Book. I knew very little about Billy Strayhorn other than that he was Ellington’s sideman forever. Nov 29, Hannah rated it liked it. This is a song about the deepest set pain known to anyone: Whites and blacks can dance together, but only if there’s a clothesline across the middle of the room; and a mixed-race band? Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts.

Jazz Story I love jazz because it gives me freedom of mind. Square, tight with no notes or ANY markings.


An award-winning and nominated bio by author David Hajdu. First name and Last name.

Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn by David Hajdu

He just played the music and went on to a behind the scenes, semi-famous life along side Ellington. Reading the other reviews, I’m not the only one who cried at the end of this biography. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue lish rigorously build on the great work we first started in 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 Lifd and “”Take the A Train.

Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn

He wrote an entire Gershwin-like musical revue a year out of high school, full of sophisticated recitative and advanced harmony. Book Reviews Fare Thee Well: Farrar Straus Giroux, The truest of human qualities at least in these old days come out in the dive bar.

But, as Hajdu points out, he was a “”triple minority””: Alto saxophonist Marshall Royal left Birdland on Broadway, around the corner from West 52nd Street, at around four one morning and found Strayhorn window-shopping at Layton’s men’s store. It was just incredible.

An aspiring classical pianist, Strayhorn’s musical interests as a young man ran more towards Stravinsky and Ravel than Louis Armstrong or Fletcher Henderson, however he saw in Ellington an ambitious popular composer who had already experimented with longer works in a semi-classical vein.