Chapter Eight Masterpieces by Strayhorn: Writing for Albums

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 Eight Masterpieces by Strayhorn: Writing for Albums

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This chapter unravels Strayhorn’s often hidden contributions to the successful LP albums recorded by the Ellington orchestra in the 1950s. It discusses Strayhorn’s contributions to Blue Rose (featuring singer Rosemary Clooney), Historically Speaking – The Duke, Duke Ellington Presents …, Newport Jazz Festival Suite, A Drum Is a Woman, Such Sweet Thunder, Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Songbook, Ellington Indigos, Anatomy of a Murder, Ellington Jazz Party, Blues in Orbit, Recollections of the Big Band Era, The Nutcracker Suite, The Peer Gynt Suite, A Midnight in Paris, Mary Poppins, and Suite Thursday. The responsibility for a significant part of the band’s repertory fell entirely to Strayhorn. As a result, the sound of the Ellington band in the 1950s was equally indebted to Ellington and Strayhorn, even though it was understood by its audiences as purely Ellingtonian.

Keywords: Ellington; Nutcracker; Mary Poppins; LP albums; Rosemary Clooney; Blue Rose; Peer Gynt

Chapter.  4641 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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