Edward Kennedy Ellington was born on April 29, 1899. The above image is from the LP-sized booklet that came with This One's for Blanton (Pablo, 1972), the first Ellington recording I bought.
Roaming through the jungle, the jungle of "oohs" and "ahs," searching for a more agreeable noise, I live a life of primitivity with the mind of a child and an unquenchable thirst for sharps and flats. The more consonant, the more appetizing and delectable they are. Cacophony is hard to swallow. Living in a cave, I am almost a hermit, but there is a difference, for I have a mistress. Lovers have come and gone, but only my mistress stays. She is beautiful and gentle. She waits on me hand and foot. She is a swinger. She has grace. To hear her speak, you can't believe your ears. She is ten thousand years old. She is as modern as tomorrow, a brand-new woman every day, and as endless as time mathematics. Living with her is a labyrinth of ramifications. I look forward to her every gesture.
Music is my mistress, and she plays second fiddle to no one.
Duke Ellington, Music Is My Mistress (New York: Doubleday, 1973), 447.
If you're looking for an introduction to Ellington's music, The Great Paris Concert is a great start.