In This Issue
The works of two of the twentieth century’s most important composing ensembles can be considered the greatest examples of collaboration in music history. One, Duke Ellington – marketed as a genius and often referred to as “The Duke” – was not known for creating melody, but as a skilled arranger crafted enduring compositions derived from collaborations with musicians in his orchestra, frequently on the spot during rehearsal. As a result, he elevated the role of the featured soloist, while naming and packaging the composition as if it were his own entirely, regularly taking sole credit when it wasn’t entirely his, reluctant to publicly acknowledge his collaborators.
The other ensemble, the Beatles – affectionately called “The Boys” – relished their public image of transparent collaboration, achieving unparalleled success in a model where main composing partners.John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote songs for each other as the primary audience, each subsequently augmenting and enhancing the piece – in Paul’s case, its musical range, and in John’s case, its lyrics.
In this issue of Jerry Jazz Musician, we interview Thomas Brothers, author of Help! The Beatles, Duke Ellington, and the Magic of Collaboration, who talks about how creative cooperation inspired two of the world’s most celebrated groups.
Also in this issue…in anticipation of our upcoming 50th Short Fiction Contest (winning story to be published March 11), we continue to publish profiles of previous contest winners; two new podcasts from Bob Hecht (one on the Beatles and jazz, the other on Ellington); 12 poets contribute 15 poems to our February poetry collection; new jazz listening recommendations; and lots more…