Billy Strayhorn (1915-1967) was one of the most accomplished composers in American music, the creator of such standards as "Take the 'A' Train", yet all his life he was overshadowed by his friend and collaborator, Duke Ellington. Through scrutiny of Strayhorn's private papers and more than five hundred interviews, Hajdu revives Strayhorn as one of the most complex and tragic figures in jazz history.
National Book Critics Circle Awards - Nominee, National Books Critics Circle Awards - Nominee, National Book Critics Circle Award - Nominee
Praise for Lush Life
“Lush Life is a book as beautiful and intelligent as its subject. David Hajdu has brought all my dear memories of Billy Strayhorn to life.” —Lena Horne
“A portrait that is both full and convincing . . . It is a mark of excellence of this biography that it leaves one wanting nothing so much as to listen to the music.” —Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World
“Hajdu invests his biography of Strayhorn with the kind of sensitivity and clarity which is the mark of his subject's best work.” —The New Yorker