The Duke Ellington Legacy

The Duke Ellington Legacy

The Duke Ellington Legacy

Single Petal of a Rose

Renma Records

Duke Ellington’s been gone a long time, but his spirit and style live on in the form of The Duke Ellington Legacy, a nine-piece band led by his grandson Edward Ellington II. It’s an amazing recreation; while the sounds and themes are classic Ellington, the recording technology has caught up with the modern era.

Ellington’s sound is founded in modern jazz. He stands in the gap between the WWII big band sound and the dissonant atonalism of the cool/bebop crowd. As befits the jazz world, extensive cover notes detail everyone who solos on every cut. Jazz and baseball have a similar fascination with statistics and minor players, not that this is Minor League sound. These cuts all stand firmly in the field of the well-conceived, well executed professionalism of Duke Senior. Nearly all the tracks here are Ellington compositions, rearranged in subtle ways that might not be obvious to the casual listener.

The title track has in interesting history as part of The Queen’s Suite. According to the liner notes, only one copy of this 1959 composition was pressed as a gift to Queen Elizabeth, and the agreement was not to release it during her lifetime. I guess the wait stayed on Edward II’s mind, as he’s covered it and it’s wonderful. I hope she pulls it out occasionally and gives it a spin.

The single non-Ellington track here is the classic “After Hours.” It’s an iconic track with saxophone punctuation, a slow meander in rhythm, and the sort of vibe that makes you think “…hey, this jazz thing might just catch on!” This collection gets very high marks for the Mad-Men-age coolness. You can’t do better than the Ellington clan to entertain your cocktail buddies as you live out the fantasy lives of your grandparents.

Duke Ellington Experience: www.dukeellingtonexperience.com • http:renmarecordings.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Sarah Adina Smith
    Sarah Adina Smith

    One of the biggest surprises of this year’s AFI Fest came with Buster’s Mal Heart, the impressive second feature by director Sarah Adina Smith that stars Rami Malek, Kate Lyn Sheil, and DJ Qualls. Generoso Fierro spoke at length with Smith about the film, its Y2K era setting, and the race and class discussions contained within.

  • Exits & Entrances: A Celebration of Shakespeare
    Exits & Entrances: A Celebration of Shakespeare

    Exits & Entrances: A Celebration of Shakespeare (EMR Dench Classics). Review by Carl F Gauze.

  • Drakulas
    Drakulas

    Raw Wave (Dirtnap). Review by Jen Cray.

  • Love Is A Drag
    Love Is A Drag

    The reissue of Love Is A Drag has James Mann recalling his father.

  • Juho Kuosmanen and J.P. Passi
    Juho Kuosmanen and J.P. Passi

    Lily and Generoso Fierro were fortunate enough to speak with director Juho Kuosmanen and cinematographer J.P. Passi after the debut of their sweet and poignant new film, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, the true story of the famed Finnish boxer and his shot at becoming the 1962 World Featherweight Boxing Champion.

  • Honeyblood
    Honeyblood

    Honeyblood rocked with a great sound, close to perfect if it weren’t for the crappy sound mixing from Baby’s All Right.

  • AFI Fest 2016
    AFI Fest 2016

    From November 10th to the 17th, the American Film Institute Festival celebrated its thirtieth year of connecting audiences with world-renowned directors and actors by presenting new works and classic films. Lily and Generoso Fierro take you through the many special events, conversations, and most importantly, the reviews of twenty new feature films that premiered at this year’s festival in Hollywood.

  • Matthew Mayfield
    Matthew Mayfield

    Recoil (Sweet Exchange Records) Review by Andrew Ellis.

  • Yellowcard
    Yellowcard

    Yellowcard bid farewell to 20 years worth of fans in Orlando, and Jen Cray was there to capture it all.

  • Dee Snider
    Dee Snider

    We Are the Ones (Red River Records) Review by Christopher Long

From the Archives