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Vocal Jazz: Billy Strayhorn, his compositions and lyrics

fri 11 dec 2020
Theme: Jazz

Vocal Jazz on Saturday 12 December 18:00 CET features work by Billy Strayhorn performed by some of the best jazz vocalists including Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, Deborah Brown and Sarah Vaughan.

Billy Strayhorn was the right-hand man for Duke Ellington for decades. Billy wrote many compositions, lyrics, and arrangements for Duke Ellington’s orchestra. He also often played the piano. His best-known composition is Take the “A” Train – the signature tune of Ellington’s orchestra.

Ellington recognised the importance of Strayhorn, as is revealed by this quote: “Billy Strayhorn was my right arm, my left arm, all the eyes in the back of my head, my brain waves in his head, and his in mine.” Despite all this, Duke Ellington did not always give Billy Strayhorn the credits he deserved.

Vocal Jazz is programme by Ineke Heijliger. Click here for the playlist.