Take the A Train,the group's theme, and such standards as
Passion Flower.His sophisticated approach and his introspective, nuanced, and impressionist-tinged style meshed beautifully with Ellington's own. It is sometimes difficult to tell which of the Duke's works have passages by the younger man, and some of Strayhorn's material has been mistaken for Ellington's. Openly gay in a homophobic era and business, Strayhorn avoided the spotlight, and his achievements and contributions to the Ellington sound were not fully understood by the public for many years. After
Stray's untimely death, Ellington paid tribute to him in And His Mother Called Him Bill (1967), an album of Strayhorn's compositions.
See biography by D. Hajdu (1996); study by W. Van De Leur (2001).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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