How indeed? So far, Collier reminds me of Bernstein's Beethoven essay "Bull Session in the Rockies," where he ticks off Beethoven's apparent lack of musical gifts one by one, and then presents where he believes the greatness of the music lies (according to Bernstein, its "inevitability"). By the end of the book, however, we see that Collier differs from Bernstein mainly in that he never manages to come up with anything to explain not merely the sheer quality of much of Ellington's music, but its consistency of tone and voice. His "explanations" raise even more questions.
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