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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Monday, July 09, 2012

CD Review: Joe Jackson - Duke.

(Review by Lance).
Described as an unconventional salute to Ellington it is certainly that! Nevertheless, it isn't an album to dismiss out of hand irrespective of whether you're in the "Duke who?" camp or the "Was he a DJ who had a cat called Tiddles?" care home. 
This is an intriguing album featuring a host of contemporary rock/pop/jazz musicians discovering the greatest jazz composer of them all.
Isfahan, incredibly, has guitarist Stevie Vai somehow creating the feel of Johnny Hodges - not totally but enough to let us know where he's coming from.
Caravan features Iranian singer Sussan Deyhim in a soaring Farsi vocal over an almost disco rhythm - it works! Is this the setting the itinerant tune has been looking for?
Joe Jackson steps up to the mic along with Christian McBride on bass and violinist Regina Carter for I'm Beginning To See The Light which includes an instrumental interlude - A Train and Cottontail.
Jackson and Carter stay aboard for Mood Indigo along with the strangely named drummer - Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson. This latter guy is also on Rockin' in Rhythm and I Ain't Got Nothin' But The Blues/Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me with Jackson and R & B diva Sharon Jones delivering soulful vocals. Jackson also works out on I Got It Bad with Sue Hadjopoulos. Perdido sees Lilian Vieira singing the Juan Tizol tune in Portuguese. The Mooche and Black and Tan Fantasy are "enhanced" by tremolo and wah wah effects capturing the feel of Tricky Sam and Bubber with Regina Carter playing Nance-like violin.
The final track, It Don't Mean a Thing, has Jackson sharing the vocal load with Iggy Pop.
It's a strange disc that shouldn't be dismissed out of hand on first listening as I almost did! Believe you me it grows on you. Just discard your pre-conceived idea of Ellingtonia and view it as something new and fresh.
Ellington may be turning in his grave but, if he is, it's to hear it better and I suspect he would "Love it Madly" - at least for the royalties!.
Lance.
Joe Jackson - The Duke released by earMUSIC on July 23 - CD and 12" Vinyl.

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