Tribute to Ellington

Tribute to Ellington

by Daniel Barenboim


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Tribute to Ellington

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.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/05/1999
Label: Teldec
UPC: 0639842525220
catalogNumber: 25252

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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