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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Dec 30, Adam rated it really liked it. Throughout his career, Strayhorn played a secondary role to Duke Ellington in their collaboration, but it could be argued that Strayhorn contributed more to the Duke Ellington “sound” and orchestra than the Duke himself.

Hajdu is a mast A singularly moving portrait of Strayhorn, black, gay and all but entirely missing from the annals of Americana and jazz. As well, answers may be filled in.

Book Reviews Fare Thee Well: Sign in or sign up to upload your events. This book is very skilled at identifying the complexity of his life, and how his genius and personality were boigraphy by the era in which he lived.

Lush Life by Hajdu, David

We’ll never know how things might have played out had he not passed away so young, but this book suggests how much we lost the day Billy Strayhorn died by painting a moving portrait of a courageous, uncompromising artist who was truly ahead of his biograpyh.

Very smoothly written, thorough, plenty of great jazz anecdotes. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, Email address It will remain private. The Peaceful Side Capitol Records buy.


Jonathan Grobe Books Published: But, as Hajdu points out, he was a “”triple minority””: Reading the other reviews, I’m not the only one who cried bilpy the end of this biography. What a beautiful read! Trivia About Lush Life: May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text.

Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn

Lush Life has sparked an enthusiastic revival of interest in Strayhorn’s work and is already acknowledged as a jazz classic. Voting takes seconds so please participate! Search Musicians by name.

Jazz fans, lovers of Ellington’s music. There are many examples of Strayhorn’s music to listen to, but I recommend the following: Strayhorn discarded public prominence in service to Duke Ellignton and his Orchestra.

Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn

Look for it, then click the link to activate your account. It was a pleasure to listen to his strayjorn as I read along. For Pros Sign in or sign up to upload and share your publicity or live event photos.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, June It meant, Don’t look back — yesterday was yesterday and today is today. A close friend to Lena Horne, Johnny Hodges who he also wrote for and played with, Strayhorn was loved by so many in the jazz world. A richly detailed yet rigorously disciplined chronicle, deeply affecting.

DJ price clipped, else Fine. I came across this book, as always, in a thrift store. Never in their long association were Strayhorn’s precise duties within the Ellington organization clearly defined.


It makes you wonder: Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Press Release Distribution Sign in or sign up to upload your press release. Nor did he play the victim in racial confrontation, as do many black people today black people today with more resources and access to upward mobility than we ever had back in the 20s and 30s and 40s still choose to see themselves as second class citizens, rather than the originators of American Culture that we are.


I came away from this book with a profound sense of loss, not only because of a life cut far too short, at 51, but the cultural loss of music that might have been from a brilliant mind whose talent knew no boundaries. Strayhorn had two favorite phrases: While composing some of the most gorgeous American music of this century, Strayhorn labored under a complex agreement whereby Ellington took the bows for his work; until his life was tragically cut short by cancer and alcohol abuse, the small, shy black composer carried himself with singular style and grace as one of the few jazzmen to be openly homosexual.

All the while, he was not a prima donna to work with. Book Reviews Astral Weeks: Where Hadju succeeds is in portraying the rich life Strayhorn led as an openly gay black man during the 40’s and 50’s.

I want to be a part of the world of the subject note: He never got the credit he deserved, but his collaboration with Duke Ellington allowed him many opportunites.