86

Various: Goin' Home - A Benefit for the Duke Ellington Foundation

By

Sign in to view read count
Exaggeratedly characterized in the liner notes as being "considered the only true tribute" to Duke Ellington, this cd brings together a wide variety of musical performers to tip their hat to the master. One of the so-called "legendary producers" (more puffery) of the album is Dwayne Wiggins who is active in the Hip Hop culture. If that doesn't make jazz fans in general and Ellington lovers in particular have heart palpitations, you are in incredibly good shape.

.

In spite of trepidations from reading the liner notes, the outcome of this session isn't all that bad. All the music isn't Ellington's. There are a couple of compositions by George Duke, including the title tune. But it's the performers who make or break this album and it is about 70 -30 in favor of make. There are representative artists from jazz, R & B and rock all taking turns to offer interpretations of Ellington. The smooth voice of long time soulful singer, Jerry Butler, makes a nice contribution on "Swing at the Cotton Club" and the soulful, R&B inflected voices of Otis Clay and Delya Chandler do a heart wrenching, gospel like "Come Sunday". This duo also does a swinging "I Ain't Got Nothing But the Blues" making these two duets among the best tracks on the CD. On the not so good side is the handling of "It Don't Mean a Thing (if It Ain't Got That Swing)". Here R & B, Hip Hop and, yes, Rap are all mixed together based on the claim that this is the way that Ellington would play his music if he were alive today. Right. If nothing else, it shows that Ellington's music can withstand just about any assault. Most of the backing comes from an army of instrumentalists, some of whom are recognizable, excellent section players. One of whom, veteran trumpet player Snooky Young, gives with inspired solo on "Smokin'".

These "modern" interpretations of Ellington's music may well serve an important purpose, With the crossover approach, it may get the attention of a younger crowd and expose them to Ellington's music.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
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 "Zentuary" CD/LP/Track Review Zentuary
by John Kelman
Published: December 25, 2016
Read "Passin' Thru" CD/LP/Track Review Passin' Thru
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "Small Pieces" CD/LP/Track Review Small Pieces
by James Nadal
Published: April 6, 2017
Read "Mount Meander" CD/LP/Track Review Mount Meander
by John Sharpe
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "The Big Beat" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Beat
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Fun with Notes" CD/LP/Track Review Fun with Notes
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 10, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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