Lush Life by David Hajdu
A Biography of Billy Strayhorn

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Billy Strayhorn (1915-1967) was one of the most accomplished composers in American music, the creator of such standards as "Take the 'A' Train", yet all his life he was overshadowed by his friend and collaborator, Duke Ellington. Through scrutiny of Strayhorn's private papers and more than five hundred interviews, Hajdu revives Strayhorn as one of the most complex and tragic figures in jazz history.


About David Hajdu

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David Hajdu is the music critic for The New Republic and the author of The Ten-Cent Plague, Positively 4th Street, and Lush Life. He is a professor at the Columbia University School of Journalism, and he lives in New York City.
Published April 26, 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 321 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Arts & Photography, Gay & Lesbian. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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As one of his friends told Hajdu, both Ellington's and Strayhorn's music was great, the difference was that Strayhorn's ``was so full of feeling.'' This is jazz history as it has seldom been written before, covering both Strayhorn's powerful music and difficult life as well as the hidden hi...

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Publishers Weekly

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Hajdu, taking his title from one of Strayhorn's youthful works, deftly chronicles the life of the gifted composer, arranger and pianist about whom little has been known until now.

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Book Reporter

Despite their obvious differences in lifestyle --- and despite the fact that Strayhorn collaborated on many pieces uncredited and even wrote some that appeared under Ellington's name --- the two remained friends and cohorts until Strayhorn's death, of esophageal cancer, in 1967.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Lush Life: A Biography of Bil...

Entertainment Weekly

Duke Ellington's legendary status is due, in part, to Billy Strayhorn.

Jun 14 1996 | Read Full Review of Lush Life: A Biography of Bil...

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