107

UMO Jazz Orchestra: Celebrates Ellington

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jazz immortal Duke Ellington are being accompanied not only by reissues of Duke’s music but by new recordings from groups of all shapes and sizes around the world. Finland’s superb UMO Jazz Orchestra Celebrates Ellington with a charming performance of 14 of his memorable compositions whose earnestness never fails to please. Beyond that, UMO plays with great skill, and the charts, from overture (“Things Ain’t What They Used to Be,” “Sophisticated Lady,” “Perdido”) to finale (“Take the ‘A’ Train,” an Ellington signature albeit written by Billy Strayhorn) are consistently bright and rewarding. Duke is said to have written with specific soloists in mind, and there are a number of gleaming showcases here — for trumpeter Esko Heikkinen (“Daybreak Express,” “Concerto for Cootie”), alto saxophonist Pentti Lahti (“Star–Crossed Lovers”) and pianist/conductor Kirmo Lintinen (“Prelude to a Kiss”). But as was always the case with Ellington’s music, the ensemble is the cardinal element, and UMO is a consistently effective interpreter of his orchestral designs. It would, of course, require several shelves of recordings to encompass fully Ellington’s enormous library of song — and there is room for at least a few more on this disc — but what is included is first–class, from the tunes already mentioned to “Satin Doll,” “Creole Love Call,” “Day Break Express,” “Happy Go Lucky Local,” Rockin’ in Rhythm,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” and a medley of “Caravan” (written by Juan Tizol) and “The Mooche,” each of which summons forth the seductive Ellington spirit without imitating the unsurpassed Ellington style. In short, it’s quite a remarkable celebration.

Track listing: Overture: Things Ain’t What They Used to Be, Sophisticated Lady, Perdido; Satin Doll; Creole Love Call; Day Break Express; Star–Crossed Lovers; Happy Go Lucky Local; Caravan / The Mooche; Rockin’ in Rhythm; Concerto for Cootie; Don’t Get Around Much Anymore; Prelude to a Kiss; Take the “A” Train (52:47).

Personnel:

Kirmo Lintinen, conductor, piano; Esko Heikkinen, Timo Paasonen, Teemu Mattsson, Tero Saarti, trumpets; Markku Veijonsuo, Mikko Mustonen, Vesa

| Record Label: UMOCD | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "So Far So Close" CD/LP/Track Review So Far So Close
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 22, 2016
Read "You'll Never Know" CD/LP/Track Review You'll Never Know
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 31, 2017
Read "House Of Waters" CD/LP/Track Review House Of Waters
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2016
Read "Live in Tokyo" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Tokyo
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 18, 2016
Read "The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure" CD/LP/Track Review The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Suite Três Rios" CD/LP/Track Review Suite Três Rios
by Paul Naser
Published: July 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!