Lush Life by David Hajdu
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Lush Life
By David Hajdu

Lush Life

A Biography of Billy Strayhorn

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Format: Paperback / softback

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Lush Life by David Hajdu

Book Description

A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award Billy Strayhorn (1915-67) was one of the greatest composers in the history of American music, the creator of a body of work that includes such standards as "Take the 'A' Train." Yet all his life Strayhorn was overshadowed by his friend and collaborator Duke Ellington, with whom he worked for three decades as the Ellington Orchestra's ace songwriter and arranger. A "definitive" corrective ( USA Today ) to decades of patchwork scholarship and journalism about this giant of jazz, David Hajdu's Lush Life is a vibrant and absorbing account of the "lush life" that Strayhorn and other jazz musicians led in Harlem and Paris. While composing some of the most gorgeous American music of the twentieth 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 composer carried himself with singular style and grace as one of the few jazzmen to be openly homosexual. Lush Life has sparked an enthusiastic revival of interest in Strayhorn's work and is already acknowledged as a jazz classic.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780865475120
ISBN-10: 0865475121
Format: Paperback / softback
(231mm x 152mm x 25mm)
Imprint: North Point Press
Publisher: North Point Press
Publish Date: 26-Jun-1997
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author David Hajdu

Love for Sale by David Hajdu Love for Sale, Hardback (October 2016)

David Hajdu begins Love for Sale, his personal history of pop music, in an unexpected place - not with reminiscences of the 45s of his youth but with the sheet music era at the end-of the nineteenth century. It was not so much the beginning of popular music - many songs were already popular - as it was the beginning of the popular music industry.

Positively 4th Street by David Hajdu Positively 4th Street, Paperback / softback (April 2011)

Examines the lives of folk musicians Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, Joan's sister Mimi Baez Farina, and Mimi's writer husband Richard, and discusses the impact of the four young people on the sound and style of the 1960s.

Ten Cent Plague by David Hajdu Ten Cent Plague, Paperback (February 2009)

In the years between the end of World War II and the mid-1950s, American popular culture was first created in the pulpy, boldly illustrated pages of comic books. But no sooner had comics emerged than they were beaten down by mass bonfires, and congressional hearings. This book describes the rise, fall, and rise again of comics.

» View all books by David Hajdu


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Author Biography - David Hajdu

David Hajdu is the music critic for The Nation and a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Before joining The Nation in January 2015, he served for more than ten years as the music critic forThe New Republic. He is the author of Positively 4th Street (FSG, 2001), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Ten-Cent Plague (FSG, 2008), a finalist for the Eisner award; and Heroes and Villains, also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He lives in Manhattan with his family.

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