Duke Ellington: His Life in Jazz is an enjoyable book, and entertaining. The author, Stephanie Stein Crease, has written a combination non-fiction and biographical look at this great composer and band leader.
In addition, there are twenty-one creative, imaginative, musical activities in the book. Some activities include composing a ragtime rhythm, hosting a jam session, and learing to dance the Lindy Hop. The book contains numerous fine photographs.
Other jazz musicians and jazz celebrities are also discussed in the book. There are many insightful comments. Duke Ellingtons Cotton Club Orchestra is covered and the important roles drummer Sonny Greer alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges and trumpet player Cootie Willams played in that band.
Much detail is given to relating the musical relationship between Duke Ellington and composer Billy Strayhorn and this covers both the early and later years. Other references are made to Frank Sinatra Juan Tizol Fats Waller Mary Lou Williams among others. Stride piano is discussed and its importance.
This is a book that will delight fans of the late Duke Ellington. It is concise well-written or new to his background this book would make a fine addition to the home library and as a gift. This would be an ideal book to have in public libraries for jazz patrons.