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 Frank Roberscheuten and Dan Barrett for their stylish septet arrangements.
The line-up of compositions is a mix of classic favorites and surprises while this band brings something new to each track - fresh Ellington! There are so many outstanding solo performances that it seems pointless to single out only a couple. The versatility of the players is also notable, with several of the musicians switching off on multiple instruments. Ultimately, the creativity of the players working as a unit is what lingers so deliciously. This is a delightful recording.
Track Listing: Take The A Train; Swing Pan Alley; I Didn
Personnel: Frank Robertscheuten, clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax; Dan Barrett, trombone, valve trombone, cornet; Tom Baker, cornet, trombone, tenor sax, alto sax; Joep Peters, baritone sax, alto sax, vocals; Onno de Bruijn, drums, maracas; Karel Algoed, bass; and Christian Hopkins, piano.
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.