Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

325

Dan Block: From His World To Mine: Dan Block Plays The Music Of Duke Ellington

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
Bandleader and accomplished reed man Dan Block is an exponent of traditional and swing jazz, and pays homage to the music of Duke Ellington with From His World To Mine: Dan Block Plays The Music Of Duke Ellington. The repertoire's avoidance of the usual Ellington standards and classics makes this a unique project unlike other tributes to the master—there is no "Satin Doll," "Sophisticated Lady," "Caravan," or "Take the A Train"; instead, lesser-known but equally impressive tunes from the '30s through the '70s, with particular focus on the '40s. There are a couple of Billy Strayhorn compositions, with the 1945 opener, "Kissing Bug," arranged to feature a bit of Latin percussion from Renato Thoms.

Known as much for his stylish clarinet play as his tenor saxophone prowess, Block also employs alto saxophone, bass clarinet and basset horn on this date, affirming his notoriety as a multi-reed specialist. Block enlists a host of players for this tribute among them, pianist Mike Kanan, guitarist James Chirillo, vibraphonist Mark Sherman, drummer Brian Grice and bassist Lee Hudson. Block chose several pieces from the '40s, a period he sees as neglected, including the soft, haunting 1947 ballad "New York City Blues," and the brief but perky "Suburbanite," from the same year, here given new life with an up- tempo color.

"All Heart" and "Change My Ways" were two rather obscure Strayhorn ballads from the '50s, and here Block blends them into one nice "Ballad Medley," performing both on clarinet and alto saxophone. "Portrait of Bert Williams" is the disc's only real blues, while "Rocks In My Bed" features a rhythm-based quartet with Chirillo, Hudson and cellist Pat O'Leary. "Mt. Harrissa" is one of the disc's not-to-be-missed pieces—an intriguing version of "Take the 'A' Train," but with a three-tone substitution framed by Sherman's superb vibraphone lines on both ends.

The swing comes shining through on the Jimmy McHugh-inspired "Cotton Club Stomp," a nod to Ellington's tenure at the famed venue, while "Creole Blues" draws its inspiration from Ellington's "Creole Rhapsody," from 1931, developing the main melody as the song's centerpiece. Other uncommon and largely unfamiliar pieces featured anew here are "Old King Dooji," "Morning Glory" and "The Beautiful Indians." Reconnecting the Ellington magic of the past to today's jazz world, From His World To Mine: Dan Block Plays The Music Of Duke Ellington is more than just a fine tribute to one of the legends of jazz, it's a spotlight on Ellington's hidden musical wonders brought, back to life through Block's talents and musicianship.

Track Listing: Kissing Bug; New York City Blues; Old King Dooji; Morning Glory; Are You Stickin'?; The Beautiful Indians; Suburbanite; Ballad Medley (All Heart / Change My Ways); Portrait of Bert Williams; Mt Harrissa; Creole Blues; Cotton Club Stomp; Rocks in my Bed; Second Line.

Personnel: Dan Block: clarinet, bass clarinet, Eb clarinet, Bb clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone; Mike Kanan: piano; Lee Hudson: bass; James Chirillo: guitar; Brian Grice: drums; Mark Sherman: vibes (1, 2, 5, 10, 14); Renato Thoms: percussion (1, 2, 5, 10, 14); Pat O'Leary: cello (6, 9, 13).

Title: From His World To Mine: Dan Block Plays The Music Of Duke Ellington | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Miles High Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Ariel CD/LP/Track Review Ariel
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Fukushima CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Dedication CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Surface of Inscription CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "A Social Call" CD/LP/Track Review A Social Call
by James Nadal
Published: May 25, 2017
Read "All Smiles" CD/LP/Track Review All Smiles
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 31, 2017
Read "Such A Sky" CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Astoria Roots Live" CD/LP/Track Review Astoria Roots Live
by James Nadal
Published: May 17, 2017
Read "Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks" CD/LP/Track Review Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 31, 2017
Read "The Sun Though the Rain" CD/LP/Track Review The Sun Though the Rain
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 31, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor