Cooper Hewitt Library

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Trans-Atlantic Solo- Flying IS Jazz Age
The first non-stop, first transatlantic flight of Charles Lindbergh from New York to Paris in May 1927 was acclaimed around the world as one of the most remarkable and heroic accomplishments in history. The people of Paris were especially excited about the journey since their city was where Lindbergh would be touching down after nearly...
The Solitude of Swing
“’Solitude’ I wrote in 20 minutes in Chicago standing up against the glass office enclosure waiting for another band to finish recording.” Duke Ellington’s comment is hard for the musician in me to swallow, because the musical score, with its complex chording and swinging rhythms, sure doesn’t sound like its composition took place in the...
Elements of the Exotic
The piano plays an intricate, rhythmic solo. The trumpet vocalizes a “wa-wa” sound that is explosively bluesy. The trombone whinnies bizarrely, both expressive and perverse. These are the sounds of Duke Ellington’s “Black and Tan Fantasy,” one of the defining musical pieces of his fifty-year career. Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (1899-1974) was involved with music...