We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I am in the process of reading Teachout's biography of Duke Ellington. Like in Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong, Terry Teachout includes much commentary on various performances and compositions of Ellington. Because Teachout is a musician, he does more music analysis than the standard biographer. I would advise having a CD box set of Ellington to refer to various performances and compositions when reading his book. Or YouTube.
I was fortunate to have heard the Duke and his orchestra play at various Newport Jazz Festivals over the years. I also heard the Mercer Ellington-led Ellington band at the Newport Jazz Festival and in Argentina. I went to the concert in Argentina with some student friends. Because some friends knew an usher, we snuck into the concert without paying- the only time I had done that. The next day I was talking with a another student friend, who mentioned he had also gone to the concert. He had also gotten in without paying. Guess crashing concerts is more common in Argentina than in the US.