Chapter Two The Renaissance of Arranging: First Works for and with Duke Ellington

Walter van de Leur

in Something to Live For

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195124484
Published online September 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199868711 | DOI:
Chapter Two The Renaissance of Arranging: First Works for and with Duke Ellington

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This chapter opens with the first meeting of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn in December 1938. The section introduces Strayhorn’s first recorded works, including small-band arrangements and originals, including Something to Live For. It then looks at Passion Flower and Day Dream, and an arrangement of The Jumpin’ Jive, which shows Strayhorn tailoring a work to the Ellington orchestra. In 1940, the band recorded at least twenty Strayhorn charts. The chapter proceeds by analyzing the most significant scores, and unveils two uncredited Strayhorn contributions: Sepia Panorama and Concerto for Cootie. Next, shelved originals, such as the modernist piano-concerto Tonk, are analyzed. Three days before the 1941 broadcasting ban, the band recorded Strayhorn’s groundbreaking arrangement of Flamingo. The chapter analyzes the score, reprinted in full, and argues that it signals a radical break with the Ellington style.

Keywords: Strayhorn; Something to Live For; Passion Flower; Day Dream; Sepia Panorama; Concerto for Cootie; Tonk; Flamingo

Chapter.  7275 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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