Music: Sweetness & Fruit

If the fancy moved him, Edward Kennedy ("Duke") Ellington could probably write a jazz composition based on a stock market report. The Duke demonstrated the point three years ago when he turned out a 14-part suite obscurely inspired by a line from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. In hot form last week, with just as obscure a burst of inspiration, he paid tribute to a man who "swings"—Novelist John Steinbeck. Occasion: the premiere at the Monterey Jazz Festival of the Duke's Suite Thursday, based on Steinbeck's novel, Sweet Thursday.

Although Ellington started discussing his...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!