Thursday, 15 April 2010

Duke Ellington's America

My copy of Dr Harvey G Cohen 's new book, Duke Ellington's America arrived in my hot little hand the day before yesterday.

The book has been anticipated eagerly by members of the Ellington community and fifty pages in, I can see why.

In these early chapters, Dr Cohen is able deftly to sketch  Ellington's formative years and at the same time place them within the political and cultural context of the African American experience. Ellington's belief in 'commanding' rather than 'demanding' respect makes so much sense of the 'political' stance he would take throughout the rest of his life. If the reader can expect this much economically expressed insight throughout the book, it will be a rare treat.

I shall post further thoughts on the volume as I make my way through it (the day job permitting!)


  1. A fascinating flurry of posts and materials come all in a rush. I look forward to reading more and perhaps discussing common interests. I operate blog I Witness--aka Ed Leimbacher, also reachable via

  2. Dr Cohen did a great job ... a must read