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Duke Ellington is widely held to be the greatest jazz composer and one of the most significant cultural icons of the twentieth century. This comprehensive and accessible Companion is the first collection of essays to survey, in depth, Ellington's career, music, and place in popular culture. An international cast of authors includes renowned scholars, critics, composers, and jazz musicians. Organized in three parts, the Companion first sets Ellington's life and work in context, providing new information about his formative years, method of composing, interactions with other musicians, and activities abroad; its second part gives a complete artistic biography of Ellington; and the final section is a series of specific musical studies, including chapters on Ellington and song-writing, the jazz piano, descriptive music, and the blues. Featuring a chronology of the composer's life and major recordings, this book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in Ellington's enduring artistic legacy.