Billy Strayhorn

1915 - 1967



Born in Dayton, OH, on 29 November 1915, the young composer and pianist Billy Strayhorn offered his composition Lush Life to Duke Ellington in 1938; less than a year later Strayhorn had become an arranger and pianist with the Ellington band, a collaboration that was to last until Strayhorn's death in 1967. His classical and jazz training, combined with sophisticated taste, was appreciated by Ellington, who described him as "my listener, my most dependable appraiser [and] critic."

Among the works that Strayhorn composed alone or with Ellington are the classics Take the A Train, Chelsea Bridge, Passion Flower, and Johnny Come Lately.

Several of these works are available in orchestral settings from the G. Schirmer, Inc. rental library, including:
  • Chelsea Bridge (1941)
    Duration: ca 5'
    arr. by Chuck Israels

  • Happy Go Lucky Local, from 'Deep South Suite'
    Duration: 4'
    arr. by Chuck Israels

  • The Essential Ellington: The Music of Ellington and Strayhorn
    Duration: 12-14'
    arr. by Jeff Tyzik
    Come Sunday (Introduction) * Take the A Train * Lush Life * Satin Doll * Perdido *Come Sunday * Things Ain't What They Used to Be

  • Satin Doll (vocal version) (1953)
    Duration: 3'
    arr. by Chuck Israels
    Voice; 2222/4331/timp.2perc/hp/str



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