Friday, April 29, 2011

On Duke Ellington’s birthday

[“There was a castle for a backdrop, a tree stump for a piano stool and a curious hen on the Duke’s piano. Duke Ellington, on a European tour, was giving a benefit concert at the Château de Goutelas near Boën, France to help turn the rundown castle into a cultural center.” Photographer unidentified. Life, March 18, 1966.]

Edward Kennedy Ellington was born 112 years ago today. He tells the story of his Goutelas visit in Music Is My Mistress (1973). (He played a nine-foot Steinway, not the instrument pictured above.) The visit inspired one of Ellington’s late longer works, The Goutelas Suite (1971), still available on The Ellington Suites (Pablo/Original Jazz Classics).

Related reading
All Ellington posts (Pinboard)
Le Château de Goutelas

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