You don't have to be a jazz aficionado --- you don't, in fact, have
to know a saxophone from a slide guitar --- to enjoy Hajdu’s
masterful biography of the man who was Duke Ellington's
collaborator, co-arranger and alter-ego.
Billy Strayhorn was a young music-obsessed arranger when he met
Ellington through a friend in 1938. The rapport was instantaneous.
Strayhorn was soon more or less adopted by the sprawling Ellington
clan of sisters, wives, and children. Originally from Pittsburgh,
Strayhorn became the quintessential New York d