The October issue of Essence, now on newsstands, contains a very nice review of Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington–the first to appear in a mainstream media publication.
Here’s the gist:
A thoroughly researched homage to this complex genius….Teachout exhaustively explores Ellington’s influence as one of the greatest composers in any genre. Like a detective, The Wall Street Journal critic pieces together clues to discover the private Duke. Given Ellington’s enigmatic persona, this is no easy feat. However, Teachout delivers a Duke unlike any we’ve seen in previous biographies. Here Ellington is both loyal and self-centered. He has conflicted relationsips with women. At last, Teachout affirms that music was Ellington’s greatest mistress–and to her, the composer was unrelentingly loyal.