Michael Hashim talks about and and shares a recent recording of a rare and newly discovered composition of Billy Strayhorn "Up There." The composition had previously been recorded as the tune "Skippy." Strayhorn was best known for his collaborations with Duke Ellington.
Biographer David Hajdu has just written "Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn" (Farrar, Straus and Girous). The book explores the life of Strayhorn, a Duke Ellington collaborator who composed "Take the 'A' Train," "Lush Life" and "Something to Live For." Strayhorn was black and gay, but maintained a low profile while working with Ellington's band.