A Fresh Look at Duke Ellington as Pianist - A Study of Styles

Presenter: Dr. Matthew Cooper (Eastern Oregon University), CMS book author

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (1899-1974) is widely considered America's greatest jazz composer, and one of its most significant composers in any idiom. Ellington also led one of the longest-lived and most stable bands in jazz history. New research also points to Ellington's inventiveness and originality as a pianist. Ellington initiated a percussive strain in jazz piano style, and evidence points to mutual influences between him and Thelonious Monk. The author of Duke Ellington as Pianist:A Study of Styles discusses several overlapping style periods in Ellington's career, beginning with the Harlem stride style and ending with his "avant-garde" work of the 60s and 70s.