DUKE ELLINGTON and the notes the world was not yet ready

Norman Warwick shares what he has learned about


and the notes the world was not yet ready to hear

A few years ago in another country I had the opportunity to present a weekly community radio broadcast but knew I was nowhere near well enough versed in the show´s jazz subject matter to do so. Not wanting to give up air time, though, I approached a local guy I had worked with occasionally in the past and asked him if he would consider sharing the gig. I can honestly say that Crescent Radio had, and never will have again, a presenting duo like us. Listen to any one of our shows from their archives, and you will hear Steve teaching me all he knew about major artists, jazz forms, jazz histories, jazz rhythms, jazz politics,…and all that jazz. And you will here is both beseeching listeners to find someone with the key because we had been locked in the studio, an you will hear us apologising for playing music over the call to prayer insert ! Bewick and Warwick (left) were an English jazz experiment they will never try again !!

When the show finished because of my retirement to Lanzarote Steve continued with his Hot Biscuits programme on FC Radio that he has now, ten years later, turned into a mix-cloud production. I came here to retire and read books (about the jazz I still needed to learn much more about.

In my recent reading I have learned that jazz pioneers created and delivered note the world was not yet ready for. At least that is the thesis of the co-authors of a Duke Ellington biography I have just resad with that very subtitle.

Karen S. Barbera (right) is a Public Relations professional who has worked with of some of the top consumer product companies in the world. She is the author of four biographical books on historically significant individuals and a contributing writer to several magazines. She has also conducted investigative journalism for The Wall Street Journal, among others.

Randall Keith Horton (left) identifies himself as an obscure Ellingtonian. In Spring1964, Horton received a mysterious calling commanding him to Go to San Francisco and study music. The resulting high point occurred in 1973, when Duke Ellington invited Horton to compose and conduct original music for his orchestra at a concert at Disneyland. Ellington then appointed Horton to briefly serve as his composing and conducting assistant. After Duke’s death, the Ellington family chose Horton to lead more than 30 performances of Duke’s Sacred Music and write the only full-length, concerto grosso orchestration of Black, Brown and Beige, Ellington’s most sweeping and misunderstood work

we´re gonna need a bigger bookshelf for book number 12

Karen Barbera and Randall Keith Horton were strangers who met on a train. A cordial conversation led to an eight-year collaboration to tell new and enlightening stories about Duke Ellington and to bring his forgotten masterpieces back to life. The results are concerts and this book-a biography of both Ellington and Horton centered on their unique relationship and the musical and cultural importance of Black, Brown and Beige and Sacred Concerts.

The book, appropriately subtitled The Notes The World Was Not Ready For, illuminates the historical significance of the compositions that helped create a paradigm shift in American music, race relations and culture. It is an engrossing story of “mysterious callings” that led Ellington to choose Randall Keith Horton as his assistant composer, conductor and pianist in 1973, and the author’s serendipitous connection to Horton.

Most of us know Duke Ellington as the king of swinging Jazz. But throughout his 50-year career, he also shattered racial barriers and stereotypes, bridged cultural divides, helped audiences feel their shared humanity, and dared people to imagine, if even for just one evening, a world without categories. Along the way he believed it possible and imperative to elevate Jazz and American composers on par with their European counterparts.

Like a true pioneer, Duke Ellington took risks to provide music that audiences needed to hear, and in doing so, set lofty expectations for a country that was ill prepared to live up to them during his lifetime.

Title                     Duke Ellington.

notes the world was not ready for

Author                 Karen Barbera & Randall Keith Horton

Price                    $35.00

Publisher             Armin Lear Press

Publish Date       January 25, 2022

Pages                   334

Dimensions         6.0 X 9.0 X 0.88 inches | 1.42 pounds

Language             English

Type                    Hardcover

EAN/UPC           9781956450040

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