Although Ellington wrote an autobiography (Music Is My Mistress) and has been profiled in several other books over the years, few of these get at the complexity of Ellington’s private life and his personality as a bandleader. Teachout’s writing is clear, the facts seem to be well supported both from previously published sources and from interviews, and some of the awareness that the author provides (e.g., the extent to which Ellington was a collaborative composer who used ideas from his band members) will expand readers’ view of the man who was perhaps the greatest jazz composer of the 20th century. Photographs sprinkled throughout are well chosen to provide support to Teachout’s points in the text….Teachout gives much insight into Ellington’s life, personality, working habits, and compositions. This work should appeal to Ellington enthusiasts as well as casual jazz fans.
So far, the reviewers really seem to be getting what I was trying to do, for which much thanks.