Ellington, his life, and work, are pretty interesting, but the way this biography was written was not. The biographer established an idea of Ellington's character in the beginning, and that concept never evolved or changed, just continually stayed the same. From a narrative point of view it's more interesting to experience the evolution of a biography subject. I also enjoy experiencing a vivid sense of place and time in the historical aspect of a biography, and I never felt twenties, thirties, forties, or fifties, come alive. Writing descriptions of music is difficult. Teachout did an okay job, but nothing standout.