101

Swingadelic: The Other Duke

Greg Simmons By

Sign in to view read count
Swingadelic: The Other Duke Swingadelic has a standing Monday night gig at the New Jersey club Maxwells, which surely makes this band the greatest thing to come out of Hoboken since they built the Lincoln Tunnel. These eleven musicians—a smallish big band—blow an enormous amount of sound out of The Other Duke, a collection of Duke Pearson songs with new arrangements. Pearson was a great pianist who both led small and large ensembles and was an A&R representative for Blue Note in the 1960s. His legacy is a solid collection of compositions that are ripe for interpretation.

The first noteworthy impact of this record is its texture: lush, fat, bottom-heavy with reeds and layers of deep brass. It's an enveloping sound that spreads out from the speakers in a magnificent illusion of space. The opener, "Mississippi Dip," features a notable sound rarely heard on a jazz album: slide guitar. But it is a blues, so Boo Reiner rides over the strings of his guitar and the arrangement behind him, tossing out something at once delightfully fresh and completely natural sounding; it's an attention-grabbing opener.

With eleven musicians on the date, all playing really well, it would be impossible to spotlight all of them, but standouts include baritone saxophonist Jeff Hackworth's terrifically melodic Statement on "Jeanine."

"Big Bertha" is a swing arrangement, straight and true, with an unidentified trumpet adding to the period feel, with some great Bubber Miley plunger-mute growls that could be right out of Duke Ellington's legendary Jungle Music period. Breaking the pace down, "Sweet Honey Bee" utilizes flute and electric piano to drive a softly swinging, 1960s go-go boot lounge vibe. "Duke's Mixture," one of Pearson's most recognizable melodies, brings up the higher-ranged brass as the trumpets wail, but over a highly skilled and finely layered arrangement that also gives pianist John Bauers a chance to show off a little.

But at the end of the day, The Other Duke is truly an arranger's album. Yes, the individuals are worthy and skilled, but it's the arrangements that make this disc special. Unusually, they are the contributions of no fewer than five individual members of this band, and everyone is as good as the next with nary a clinker in sight. This is a high-impact, deep-throated, thundering band that is just fun to listen to—and certainly worth driving to Hoboken to hear.

Track Listing: Mississippis Dip; Chili Peppers; Cristo Redentor; Jeannine; Big Bertha; Sweet Honey Bee; Duke's Mixture; Sudel; Ready Rudy; New Time Shuffle.

Personnel: Audrey Welber: alto sax; Paul Carlon: tenor sax and flute; Jeff Hackworth: baritone sax; Albert Leusink: trumpet; Carlos Francis: trumpet; Ron Susman: trombone; Rob Edwards: trombone; Boo Reiners: guitar; John Bauers: piano; Dave Post: bass; Paul Pizzuti: drums.

Title: The Other Duke | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Zoho Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Departure CD/LP/Track Review Departure
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 26, 2017
Read I Know Who I Am CD/LP/Track Review I Know Who I Am
by James Nadal
Published: July 26, 2017
Read With You In Mind CD/LP/Track Review With You In Mind
by Doug Collette
Published: July 26, 2017
Read Roll On CD/LP/Track Review Roll On
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 25, 2017
Read "Like Songs Like Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Like Songs Like Moons
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 13, 2017
Read "Rumi Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Rumi Songs
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "Days Are Not Days" CD/LP/Track Review Days Are Not Days
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Signature" CD/LP/Track Review Signature
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 17, 2016
Read "The Day After" CD/LP/Track Review The Day After
by David A. Orthmann
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Faces" CD/LP/Track Review Faces
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!