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ELLINGTON The Duke’s patrician mother passed in May of nineteen thirty-fi ve. His calling, even then, was cast, but composing took a nosedive. He fi lled her hearse with fl owers, sorrowing in his solitude. He bore a battleground of powers. Then came, “In a Sentimental Mood.” Its dancers took the tune from there, and spread its spell from coast to coast, stepping to it with such style, such fl air that many c1ubbers could but toast. My folks did the fox-trot to his band, in Depression-dizzy Dallas,— Deep Ellum,1 where colored folks could stand. Saw his show in Tyler’s Palace.2 Ghost trains would trumpet past our home, passing its porch with Pullman cars that carried white folks to and from towns with names like Texarkana. Those evening trains were lit like stars . . . all the way to Corsicana. My dad would play on our piano, plunking out some boogie’s bitter bars. A railroad clerk, he ran with woe, drugging that journey with his gin . . . Born for Christ in nineteen thirty-fi ve, I bear a cross of love within, to help somebody’s heart survive. Our darkest years saw Duke’s comeback. For Duke would joy his band with jive, trumpeting his “A Train” on Love’s track. 1Deep Ellum is on Elm Street in Dallas, Texas. 2the only black theater in Tyler, Texas. October 17, 2009 Remembered Names 139 ON ELLINGTONIA If you dig elegance, his music is your mistress. Take the A Train to dance up in Harlem, with fi nesse,— if only in memory; it’s in my solitude, in my soul’s reverie. In a sentimental mood I’m moving, I’m praying: “Dear Lord, in heaven above, keep us sweetly swaying to Ellington’s deep groove.” Johnny Hodges is so hip,— when he swings “Warm Valley,”— that he’ll take you on a trip to glory, to God’s alley; he’ll give you a poet’s tip: “It don’t mean a thing, man, if it ain’t got that swing— a fantasy, black and tan!” Such love is everlasting. The Duke would love you madly! For his sound is so haunting, as we glide to it, gladly. November 9, 2009

Detalhes do Produto

    • Ano de Edição: 2010
    • Ano:  2016
    • País de Produção: Canada
    • Código de Barras:  2001049112011
    • ISBN:  9781450030663

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