Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On Duke Ellington's birthday

Edward Kennedy Ellington was born 110 years ago today.

Q. Who are you?

A. I am a musician who is a member of the American Federation of Labor, and who hopes one day to amount to something artistically.

Q. Are you not being too modest?

A. Oh, no, you should see my dreams!

Duke Ellington, Music Is My Mistress (New York: Doubleday, 1973)
[Photograph by Thomas D. McAvoy, 1957, from the television broadcast A Drum Is a Woman. Paul Gonsalves is on the viewer's left; Jimmy Hamilton, on the right. Photograph from the Life photo archive.]

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