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 Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "It's Time" CD/LP/Track Review It's Time
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 31, 2016
Read "The Brothers Brown:  Dusty Road" CD/LP/Track Review The Brothers Brown: Dusty Road
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 7, 2016
Read "Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1" CD/LP/Track Review Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Ena / One" CD/LP/Track Review Ena / One
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 26, 2016
Read "Regards To You II" CD/LP/Track Review Regards To You II
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" CD/LP/Track Review Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!