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Black, Brown, Beige and Sacred: A Journey through Duke Ellington

Chris Ingham, MOJO, July 1999

IT'S HARD to overstate Duke Ellington's stature as a 20th century musician. Honoured by world leaders, respected by legit' cats and revered by jazz musicians of all styles and generations, his achievements tower over us like a musical Mount Olympus. Miles Davis once famously suggested that "all the musicians should...get down on their knees and thank Duke", while Wynton Marsalis — a kind of Branagh to Duke's Olivier — talks of Ellington's understanding "people of all classes" and his "advanced concept of art".

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