Ever since Larry Strayhorn moved to San Antonio a little more than a year ago, he’s talked excitedly about a forthcoming documentary which he hoped would set the record straight about his late uncle, jazz composer Billy Strayhorn.
Though the elder Strayhorn’s work (“Take the ‘A’ Train,” “Lush Life”) is among the best-loved in the jazz canon, the man himself remains a mystery, partly because he avoided the spotlight and partly because he reportedly did not always receive full credit for the music he composed while working with his charismatic mentor, Duke Ellington.
Larry Strayhorn has become a curator of his uncle’s legacy and runs Billy Strayhorn Songs, a song-publishing company devoted to his uncle’s catalog. Larry contends that the time is right for a reappraisal of his uncle’s career, and that reappraisal might begin with the Tuesday, February 6 airing of Lush Life, a 90-minute Strayhorn documentary, on PBS at 9 p.m. CST. On January 23, Blue Note Records released the film’s soundtrack album, with performances by Elvis Costello, Hank Jones, Joe Lovano, and Dianne Reeves, among others.
Larry Strayhorn will also appear with Leslie Bohl Jones on the WOAI News 4 morning show San Antonio Living on February 6 at 10 a.m., to promote the new documentary.
— Gilbert Garcia