Strayhorn, Billy

orig. William Thomas Strayhorn

born Nov. 29, 1915, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
died May 31, 1967, New York, N.Y.

U.S. pianist, composer, and arranger.

Strayhorn approached jazz composer and bandleader Duke Ellington with a composition in 1938, and he was soon contributing arrangements and original works to Ellington's band. His "Take the ‘A' Train," recorded in 1941, became the band's theme song. His work so complemented Ellington's that it is often impossible to distinguish their respective contributions. Strayhorn made expressive ballads his specialty and became noted for the structural and harmonic sophistication of pieces such as "Lush Life," "Something to Live For," "Passion Flower," and "Day Dream."

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▪ American composer and musician
byname of  William Thomas Strayhorn  
born Nov. 29, 1915, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
died May 31, 1967, New York, N.Y.

      American pianist and composer who spent his entire career in collaboration with and as amanuensis to the composer and bandleader Duke Ellington (Ellington, Duke).

      Educated privately, Strayhorn applied to Ellington in 1938 for work as a lyricist, using his own composition “Lush Life” as a credential. In 1939 Ellington made his first recording of a Strayhorn composition; it was the first of many, including the highly popular “Take the ‘A' Train” and “Chelsea Bridge,” an excellent example of the composer's refined, impressionistic style. Strayhorn was also an accomplished pianist who rarely did justice to his own talent. His work as a composer became so intertwined with Ellington's that it was said that eventually neither man was able to distinguish his own contributions to their joint work. Strayhorn worked on most of Ellington's major concert works and unquestionably exerted a great influence upon him.

Additional Reading
David Hajdu, Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn (1996).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Strayhorn, Billy — orig. William Thomas Strayhorn (29 nov. 1915, Dayton, Ohio, EE.UU.–31 may. 1967, Nueva York, N.Y.). Pianista, compositor y arreglista estadounidense. En 1938, Strayhorn tomó contacto con el compositor de jazz y director de orquestas Duke… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Strayhorn — Billy Strayhorn, fotografiert von Carl van Vechten am 14. August 1958 William „Billy“ Strayhorn (* 29. November 1915 in Dayton, Ohio; † 31. Mai 1967 in New York) war ein US amerikanischer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Billy Strayhorn — Billy Strayhorn, circa 1946 1948 (photo : William P. Gottlieb) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • billy — /bil ee/, n., pl. billies. 1. Also called billy club. a police officer s club or baton. 2. a heavy wooden stick used as a weapon; cudgel. 3. Scot. Dial. comrade. 4. Also called billycan /bil ee kan /. Australian. any container in which water may… …   Universalium

  • Billy — /bil ee/, n. 1. a male given name, form of William. 2. Also, Billye. a female given name. * * * (as used in expressions) Billy the Kid Billy Bishop Eckstine Billy Graham Billy Mills Billy Mitchell Billy Strayhorn Billy Sunday Billy Wilder Billy * …   Universalium

  • Billy — (as used in expressions) Billy the Kid Billy Bishop Eckstine, Billy Graham, Billy Mills, Billy Mitchell, Billy Strayhorn, Billy Sunday, Billy Wilder, Billy …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Billy Strayhorn — Billy Strayhorn, fotografiert von Carl van Vechten am 14. August 1958 William „Billy“ Strayhorn (* 29. November 1915 in Dayton, Ohio; † 31. Mai 1967 in New York) war ein US amerikanischer Jazzmusiker. Billy Strayhorn wirkte …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Strayhorn — links here.* For the American composer see Billy Strayhorn. * For the American politician see Carole Keeton Strayhorn …   Wikipedia

  • Strayhorn —   [ streɪhɔːn], Billy, eigentlich William Strayhorn, genannt Swee Pea [swiːpiː], amerikanischer Jazzpianist und komponist, * Dayton (Ohio) 19. 11. 1915, ✝ New York 31. 5. 1967; kam 1938 zu D. Ellington und blieb bis zu seinem Tod als Komponist,… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Billy Strayhorn — Infobox musical artist Name = Billy Strayhorn Img capt = photo by Carl Van Vechten, 14 August 1958 Background = non performing personnel Birth name = nowrap|William Thomas Strayhorn Born = birth date|1915|11|29 flagicon|USADayton, Ohio, USA Died …   Wikipedia

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