466

Ted Howe: Ellington

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist Ted Howe missed the centennial of Duke Ellington's birth by six years with this release. In late '98 and '99 there were more tributes to the Duke spinning around out there than you could count. I don't recall anybody honoring Ellington via the piano trio route, though, and Duke himself rarely recorded in the format—Money Jungle (Blue Note, 1962), with bassist Charles Mingus and drummer Max Roach, stands out as an exception.

On Ellington, the pianist and his trio give ten of Duke's most beloved compositions the piano trio treatment, delving deep into the Ellington songbook with an informed gusto. Their respect for the music is obvious, with Howe and Company employing an array of styles from deep blues to sensual Latin and a gorgeously, dreamily classical take on "A Sentimental Mood." "In My Solitude" has a gentle, lilting Brazilian feeling, featuring drummer Jerry Fields on cajon, and "Mood Indigo" features bassist Neal Starkey taking the lead on melody.

Howe has developed his Ellington catalog over the years, and he began this recording as a set for use by the Ruth Mitchell Dance Theatre, as music for the purpose of choreographing his "Ellington Show." Then this CD happened along the way. Sometimes when an artist isn't sitting down with the expressed desire to create timeless art, timeless art happens anyway. It did here, in an extraordinarily fine tribute that gets to the core truths of the songs while giving those truths new perspectives—Ellington done with a deft mix of reverence and innovation.

Track Listing: Things Ain't What They Used To Be; Caravan; Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me; Prelude to a Kiss; Sophisticated Lady; In A Sentimental Mood; It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing; In My Solitude; Mood Indigo; Take the 'A' Train.

Personnel: Ted Howe: piano; Neal Starkey: bass; Jerry Fields: drums (cajon on "In My Solitude").

Title: Ellington | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Summit Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Tributango" CD/LP/Track Review Tributango
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "Compassion: The Music Of John Coltrane" CD/LP/Track Review Compassion: The Music Of John Coltrane
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 3, 2017
Read "Neko" CD/LP/Track Review Neko
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2017
Read "Planets + Persona" CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "Mt. Crushmore" CD/LP/Track Review Mt. Crushmore
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 8, 2017
Read "Mercerville" CD/LP/Track Review Mercerville
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 31, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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