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"¬óNovelist 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...

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