News and Notes
1999 marks the centennial of the birth of Edward Kennedy Ellington. From his ragtime recordings in the 1920s to the ambitious suites of his later career, Duke Ellington never stood still. Along the way he and collaborator Billy Strayhorn produced standards like "Mood Indigo," "Caravan," and "Take the `A' Train." And while his role as pianist was vital, Duke's main instrument was his band. Ellington used soloists intuitively, as a painter uses brushes. He blended musical elements without surrendering each's distinct personality. His legacy is music that transcends jazz, and beauty that transcends music.