Duke Ellington is arguably the most important American composers. In this autobiography he writes of the music and musicians who inspired him. His descriptions of his performances and compositions, as well as his wit, grace, and humor make this book a clear glimpse into Duke"s life and work. This is a must read for any jazz lover.
Composer Billy Strayhorn was Duke Ellington"s collaborator and musical advisor, and was responsible for some of the Duke Ellington Orchestra"s most famous arrangements and compositions. This book gives a compelling account of Strayhorn"s career, with inside stories anout the musicians with whom he worked as well as his struggles against racial prejudice, homophobia and depression.
Charlie Parker is considered one of the most influential jazz musicians in the history of the music. This biography is a vivid account of the innovative saxophonist"s immense talents and tragic flaws. From the perspective of Ross Russell, who worked closely with Parker as a record producer, the book tells of Bird"s rapid ascent to legendary status, and his spiraling downfall and early death.Another must read for jazz history lovers.
This autobiography by Charles Mingus, one of the most prominent composers and bassists in jazz, is a look into the mind of the troubled artist. The writing is described as loose and disorderly, which isn"t surprising considering the layered, verging on chaotic compositions of this jazz legend. A true adventure inside the mind of a musical genius.