200

Dukaband Plays Ellington at Madrid's Cafe Berlin

Turiya Mareya By

Sign in to view read count
On Monday nights, Madrid´s premier jazz venue hosts The Dukaband, an 11 piece group that plays the music of Duke Ellington with a horn line up that includes tuba, trombone, two trumpets, baritone, tenor and alto saxophones.

I went expecting to hear faithful renditions of Duke´s work in the style of the period but quickly realized that the themes and structures of Ellington´s compositions were used as a starting point for wild creativity in approach, orchestrations and style. The group features some of the most respected members of the Madrid Jazz community who have come from most of Latin America including Argentina, Uruguay, Columbia as well as Spain and the USA.

They play standard Ellington fare but every tune is completely surprising, restructured and recomposed with rich, thick voicings and journeys into contemporary free jazz areas. The Ellington melodies are used as jumping off points into new territory. This band is all about the arrangements who were all done by a Japanese woman pianist and composer, Yumiko Murakami who met the Dukaband bassist while she was at The Berklee School of Music in Boston. At that time she was leading her own band playing her original music. She relocated to Spain and 3 years ago suddenly and unexpectedly died leaving a wealth of arrangements and compositions.

The music is so alive, so brilliant and just so fun to play that these top musicians gather several times a month, for obviously almost no money to play these charts to a small but very appreciative audience. The second half of the night they were joined by Columbian vocalist Martha Patricia who is a powerhouse vocalist with the chops and big voice to complement any big band. She did a beautiful version of Joni Mitchell´s tribute to Mingus, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat as well as Ellington standards such as "It Don´t Mean a Thing," "I Got It Bad" and "Take the A Train." She knows about dynamics and sells a song like the best of diva´s. These are European and Latin American artists giving a loving tribute to both a Black American composer and a Japanese arranger. It all comes together in a unique and moving mix.

This band and these arrangements need to be documented and appreciated by a larger audience. Yumiko Murakami was obviously a great talent who´s life was cut short but who lives in the artistry and heart of the Dukaband Plays Ellington.

Website: www.cafeberlin.net


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Songs of Scott Walker (1967-70) at Royal Albert Hall Live Reviews The Songs of Scott Walker (1967-70) at Royal Albert Hall
by John Eyles
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Bryan Ferry at the Paramount Theater Live Reviews Bryan Ferry at the Paramount Theater
by Geoff Anderson
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Newport Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Newport Jazz Festival 2017
by Timothy J. O'Keefe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read FORQ at The World Cafe Live Live Reviews FORQ at The World Cafe Live
by Mike Jacobs
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Mat Maneri and Tanya Kalmanovitch at Korzo Live Reviews Mat Maneri and Tanya Kalmanovitch at Korzo
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Kongsberg Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Kongsberg Jazz Festival 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Punkt Festival 2016" Live Reviews Punkt Festival 2016
by Henning Bolte
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Balé Folclórico de Bahia at Zellerbach Hall" Live Reviews Balé Folclórico de Bahia at Zellerbach Hall
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "Little Feat at the Paramount" Live Reviews Little Feat at the Paramount
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: June 10, 2017
Read "Jim Beard And Jon Herington At The Kennett Flash" Live Reviews Jim Beard And Jon Herington At The Kennett Flash
by Mike Jacobs
Published: June 29, 2017
Read "Trevor Anderies Quintet at Fresh Santa Fe" Live Reviews Trevor Anderies Quintet at Fresh Santa Fe
by Dave Wayne
Published: October 31, 2016
Read "The Tom & Jamie Show at the College Street Congregational Church" Live Reviews The Tom & Jamie Show at the College Street...
by Doug Collette
Published: March 29, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.