from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • Strayhorn, William Known as "Billy.” 1915-1967. American jazz pianist and composer who spent the majority of his career as an arranger with Duke Ellington's orchestra. His compositions, most notably "Take the A Train,” earned him regard as one of the most sophisticated composers in the history of jazz.


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  • Strayhorn is best known for his work with Duke Ellington with his composition “A-Train” among others.

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  • I’m pleased we have two high-profile independents running in Texas, even though Carole Strayhorn is pretty much repug-light, lacking the money to beat the Rick Perry warchest head on.

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  • But when I started out, I had bought in to what I had read about Strayhorn, which is that he hadn't done much before Ellington found him and groomed him in his image.

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  • Then the music shifted up-tempo to the Billy Strayhorn classic "Take the A Train," and dozens of couples rushed to the dance floor from their seats at long dining tables—several with canes.

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  • For all his success as a composer (his most-played song is probably "Gingerbread Boy"), Mr. Heath's two birthday highlights were standards composed by his major inspirations, Charlie Parker ("Yardbird Suite") and Billy Strayhorn ("A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing").

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  • The latter was particularly meaningful: While introducing it, Mr. Heath pondered Strayhorn's clever linguistics in devising the word "Lovesome," but then, perversely, his treatment of the flower was anything but lovesome.

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  • Mr. Golson is widely considered among jazz's most prolific living composers, and heir to Billy Strayhorn and Tadd Dameron 's sensual-sophisticated style.

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  • Strayhorn was referring to a fiasco at Ellington's 1962 birthday party, where Duke was presented with a set of 26 leather-bound volumes containing hand-copied manuscripts of his roughly 600 compositions.

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  • Take Duke Ellington who, according to his friend and co-composer Billy Strayhorn, didn't "care about this sort of thing, you know—collecting his stuff."

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  • I remember Duke Ellington was playing, and Billy Strayhorn.

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