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A Lush Life? A Film About Billy Strayhorn

Although it premiered on some other stations Tuesday, this Sunday there will be a documentary on WXXI about Billy Strayhorn, who penned many of Duke Ellington's masterpieces, including the legendary Lush Life, but who still remains mostly unrecognized for the genius he was.  Starting a little late at 11:30pm, the film will be part of the Independent Lens series. There was a thoughtful piece by Ashley Kahn on NPR on Tuesday, who uses the autobiographical Lush Life to illustrate both Strayhorn's genius and his complicated life as an African-American gay man.  That song is one of my favorites in jazz.  Of the 500 hundred or so versions of it that have been recorded, I'm partial to the one with Johnny Hartman singing with John Coltrane.  Hope you can check it out; I plan to.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

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