Tribute to Ellington

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richard S. Ginell
Believe it or not, there is a precedent for this off the wall project -- an ominous one, alas, for classical pianist/conductor Daniel Barenboim sounded stiff playing Ellington "jazz piano" for soprano Renée Fleming on the album Star Crossed Lovers (London). Here, though, Barenboim avails himself of some expert help from arranger/conductor Cliff Colnot, who dresses up some Ellington and Strayhorn tunes with a five-piece horn section, two winds, Brad Opland on bass, Joel Spencer or Kyle Woodring on drums, and the maestro himself on mostly custom-written piano arrangements. We're told that Barenboim improvises a bit, too, though one cannot say where for sure. The results...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richard S. Ginell
Believe it or not, there is a precedent for this off the wall project -- an ominous one, alas, for classical pianist/conductor Daniel Barenboim sounded stiff playing Ellington "jazz piano" for soprano Renée Fleming on the album Star Crossed Lovers (London). Here, though, Barenboim avails himself of some expert help from arranger/conductor Cliff Colnot, who dresses up some Ellington and Strayhorn tunes with a five-piece horn section, two winds, Brad Opland on bass, Joel Spencer or Kyle Woodring on drums, and the maestro himself on mostly custom-written piano arrangements. We're told that Barenboim improvises a bit, too, though one cannot say where for sure. The results are a lot like those of his friend violinist Itzhak Perlman's attempt to play jazz with André Previn. Barenboim has enough facility to execute the arrangements with an adequate hint of jazz feeling, and he sounds perfectly comfortable in the ballads. Yet almost nothing in the more swinging arrangements lodges itself in the pocket, so to speak. In the really nifty, swinging treatment of "Squatty Roo," Barenboim is along mainly for the ride, just feeling out the tune and the rhythm, and "'A' Train" finds him pounding out a series of choppy toccatas. Dianne Reeves turns in some very straightforward performances as the band's "girl singer" in "Sophisticated Lady" and "Azure," and chesty vocalese on "Chelsea Bridge." Don Byron turns up on saucy clarinet on "Zweet Zurzday" and "Caravan." You want to say to Barenboim, "Welcome over to our side," while realizing that he's much better off artistically -- and of course, financially -- on the classical side of the divide.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/5/1999
  • Label: Teldec
  • UPC: 639842525220
  • Catalog Number: 25252
  • Sales rank: 261,739

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Daniel Barenboim Primary Artist, Piano
Don Byron Clarinet
Dale Clevenger Horn
Larry Combs Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
Charlie Harrison Electric Guitar, Guitar (12 String Electric)
Dianne Reeves Vocals
Joel Spencer Percussion, Drums
Brad Opland Bass
Burl Lane Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Charles Vernon Trombone
Cliff Colnot Conductor
Technical Credits
Andreas Florczak Digital Post Production
Sandra Kaiser Artwork
Ahmet Ertegun Liner Notes
Gus Mossler Engineer
Cliff Colnot Arranger, Producer
Virginie Bauzou translation
Eberhard Sengpiel Digital Post Production
Stewart Spencer translation
Stéphane Briand Engineer
Renate Kupfer Executive Producer
Martin Fouque Producer
Duke Ellington Composer
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