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|Take the "A" Train||Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra||02:54|
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|Take the "A" Train||Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra||02:54|
In the history of jazz, the name Billy Strayhorn will always be inextricably linked with Duke Ellington and his Orchestra. The association with Ellington dated back to 1938 when Stayhorn, a 23-year-old jazz musician from Dayton, Ohio approached Ellington after a gig in Pittsburgh and suggested some improvements to Ellington's arrangements. It was the start of a professional relationship which would last for the next 25 years.
Although Ellington was undoubtedly instrumental in helping Strayhorn realise his potential, as the relationship developed Strayhorn began to express some concerns about the level of recognition he was receiving regarding his creative input to Ellington's orchestra. For a period during the 1950s Strayhorn left Ellington's orchestra to develop a solo career and recorded a handful of albums. He returned but whilst still in his forties developed oesophageal cancer and eventually succumbed to the disease in 1967, he was 51 years old.