This is the finished dust jacket for Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington. I think it’s gorgeous.
While we’re on the subject of Duke, Publishers Weekly has given the book a thumbs-up review. Here’s the money quote:
Teachout neatly balances colorful anecdote with shrewd character assessments and musicological analysis, and he manages to debunk Ellington’s self-mythologizing, while preserving his stature as the man who caught jazz’s ephemeral genius in a bottle.
Thanks much, PW. That’s Duke in a nutshell–and that last phrase is very neat in its own right.
Booklist was similarly enthusiastic and equally quotable, calling Duke “entertaining and valuable” and going on to say:
Though respectful and musically knowing, Teachout presents the famously evasive and not altogether admirable Ellington (among other traits, procrastination, manipulativeness, and incorrigible womanizing) scars and all, including the rarely photographed one (rectified here) on his left cheek, inflicted by his jealous wife. It is Ellington’s breathtakingly enormous musical contribution (1,700 compositions, from short pieces to major suites and sacred music) and his gift for collaboration, albeit often appropriation, that is the fitting focus of this important book.
So far, so good….