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One of the challenge points on the Better World Books 2017 Reading […]
Austin Harry Lawrence
A. H. Lawrence
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He was a great innovator who created fresh orchestration techniques and wrote parts tailored to the strengths of his musicians thus creating a highly personal band with a recognizable sound. Almost impossible to copy, his sounds nevertheless found their way into all subsequent jazz to this day.
This biography is the first to be written by a black musician who knew him well. As a young man, the author (who went on to become a professor of psychiatry) befriended Duke and worked on this book with the cooperation of the composer's son, Mercer. The family secrets that Mercer shared with him provide a fascinating view of the Ellington family dynamics and their impact on his creative career.
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