Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Live in Swing City: Swingin' With the Duke

Live in Swing City: Swingin' With the Duke
by Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis [Compact Disc 781.65 Lin]

This album was the result of recording a Great Performances documentary at the Supper Club in New York City, back in August 1998. It features the works of primarily Duke Ellington, and a few arrangements of Billy Strayhorn (a close collaborator with Ellington for years) with guest vocalists Milt Grayson and Dianne Reeves. The CD focuses on big band swing hits in front of live dancers (you can hear them clapping and cheering in the background on several pieces). Wynton Marsalis brings his A-game, you really hear his improvisational ability and his versatility as a trumpeter. His "Portrait of Louis Armstrong" is spot on, and sounds "just like Louis would have played it." But in contrast, his "Mood Indigo" channels more of Bix Beiderbecke. The rest of the performers don't hold back either, (especially Wycliffe Gordon, trombonist on "Black and Tan Fantasy"). Overall, the arrangements allow Duke Ellington's personality to shine through, but at the same time keep a m odern flair. I thought executive producer Rob Gibson summarized the evening well: [the dancer's that night] "couldn't help but swing." -- recommended by Jeremiah J. - Bennett Martin Public Library [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Jazz at Lincoln Center, Portraits by Ellington, Best of Ken Burns Jazz.]

[ official Live in Swing City: Swingin' With the Duke page on the Wynton Marsalis site ]

Have you listened to this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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