DUKE ELLINGTON by Stephanie Stein Crease


His Life in Jazz with 21 Activities
Age Range: 9 - 12
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Stein Crease delivers a closely written biography bespeaking her Ellington scholarship. Journeying with the great jazz pianist from Washington, D.C., to hard-working beginnings in the nascent, highly competitive New York jazz scene, to international stardom with his increasingly big bands, readers learn much about Ellington’s musical education, band personnel and the social and cultural upheavals spanning his long career. Captioned period photographs—some candid, others from promotional materials—decorate the text, and frequent sidebars highlight awards, movies, the big band era, jazz contemporaries and more. Though Stein Crease writes smoothly, she occasionally veers from clear reportage to a discordant “Hey, kids!” tone, as if remembering her child audience. “Can you imagine a future world with no TV or movies? Amazingly, the two most popular forms of American entertainment of the 1800s, minstrel shows and vaudeville, don’t exist anymore and are unfamiliar terms to many people.” The 21 activities—de rigueur for this publisher’s series—vary in appeal and seem developmentally miscued to the sophistication of the text. Right book, wrong package. (bibliography, recommended films, recordings and web sites, index) (Biography. 9-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-55652-724-1
Page count: 140pp
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2009


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