Royally Screwed

Sir Duke got the spotlight, Strayhorn the shadows

There've been a lot of plagiarizing rat bastards in music -- folks like Miles Davis, Lauryn Hill, and D'Angelo -- who either don't pay songwriters and musicians for their services or who take credit for compositions so they can hoard the spotlight and the royalties.

To this day, pianist, composer, and arranger Billy Strayhorn remains in the shadow of infamous bandleader Duke Ellington. Ever hum the Glenn Miller-esque arrangement from “Satin Doll” and think it was an Ellington tune? You’d be mistaken, mate, because that’s all Strayhorn. What about “C-Jam Blues,” with its Ellingtonian changes and textures? Strayhorn again. And “Take the ‘A’ Train,” arguably the most popular and identifiable song in jazz, must have Sir Duke’s exclusive stamp on it, right? Wrong again, daddy-o.

The ASU Jazz Repertory Band presents "The Music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn". The ensemble will reinterpret some classic Ellington and Strayhorn tunes as well as some lesser-known compositions salvaged from the staff-paper vault.


Tue., Nov. 27, 7:30 p.m., 2007
 
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