A Portrait of Duke catches the spirit of the great master, Mr. Ellington. No small accomplishment. This is a band with a lively rhythm section, first-rate soloists, and horn/reed players who make music soulfully together.
This is a truly international band with members from the United States, the Netherlands (3), Belgium, Germany, and Australia. The extraordinary chemistry of this group likely has to do with old friends playing together, but also with this recording taking place directly after the band’s 1999 European tour. These musicians play with utter confidence and exquisite timing. A big dollop of credit should go to ...read more
To paraphrase the MGM Studios’ well–known credo from the ’40s, Nagel Heyer must have “more all–stars than there are in heaven.” This particular group merits the designation “international” owing to the inclusion of Swedish vibraphonist Lars Erstrand and (on two tracks) Finnish clarinetist Antti Sarpila. The other members of the group were born under red, white and blue. In any event, all–stars they are, and as usual with Nagel Heyer releases, the album is brimful of swinging, good–natured Jazz that’s not meant to remodel the music but simply to entertain, which it does from first note to last. This cheerful ...read more
This Nagel-Heyer release captures a live performance in October of 1995. International is the appropriate descriptor for this group. The countries represented on the band stand that night in Hamburg, Germany were the United States, Sweden, England and Italy. Nonetheless, they captured the excitement and vitality of jazz music that knows no borders. While this session was set up to honor the King of small group performances, there is no attempt to imitate Goodman's style or even all the arrangements he used.
The major protagonist on this set is reedman Ken Peplowski. His Did I Remember" is done in the ...read more