Despite the successes of Benny Goodman, Andre Previn and most recently, Keith Jarrett and Brad Melhdau,I get nervous when jazz and classical musicians get together because they come from different bases. Jazz is swing, blues and improvisation. Classics is sticking to the written score. Classical conductors interpret Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, not improvise above its melody line. English conductor and the Birmingham Symphony put the concern to rest as they join with top rank jazz artists for more than an hour of dazzling performances of a cross section of Duke Ellington's music.
The album has both instrumentals and vocals. Of ...read more
Sir Simon Rattle conducts the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in a celebration of Duke Ellington’s music. Each impressive orchestration has been reworked by Luther Henderson to provide a full sound. The orchestra performs admirably with accurate interpretations of classic Ellington songs. Along the way, we find Clark Terry, Bobby Watson, Joe Lovano, Regina Carter, Lewis Nash and Josh Redman trading solos with the ensemble. They work together on three tracks, recalling the personal spirit of Ellington’s music and how it was created to fit his individual band members.
Some time ago, Duke Ellington and Luther Henderson discussed what would ...read more