After transforming the sound palette of a jazz orchestra for more than two decades, Duke Ellington came close to being sidelined in the early 1950s, with the big bands in economic and artistic retreat
One of the curious parts of visiting Taiwan is how little local music I hear playing. There aren't many songs spilling out of apartment windows or over restaurant counters, nor from scooters zooming by.
In 1963, Duke Ellington and his orchestra participated in a State Department "jazz diplomacy" tour of the Middle East. Inspired by the experience, Ellington and composer Billy Strayhorn wrote a collection