In The Spirit of Duke

2013   |   Spartacus Records
  • Black and Tan Fantasy
  • In The Hall Of The Mountain King
  • Jack the Bear
  • Le Sucrier Velours
  • Daybreak Express
  • Concerto For Cootie
  • Harlem Air Shaft
  • Prelude To A Kiss
  •  Sepia Panorama
  • Ko-Ko
  • Morning Mood
  • Anitra’s Dance
  • The Single Petal Of A Rose
  • Kinda Dukish & Rockin’ In Rhythm
  • Sunset and the Mockingbird
  •  Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue
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About this album

Scotland’s award-winning, internationally acclaimed jazz orchestra delivers an authentic Ellington experience under the leadership of saxophonist-director Tommy Smith with special guest, pianist Brian Kellock.

Recorded on tour in Scotland in October 2012, In the Spirit of Duke captures the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra in one of its best-ever performances, getting under the skin of the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

Following every last Ellington detail, including the stage set-up, using specially sourced period mutes and playing scores that in some cases were specially transcribed from Ellington performances, SNJO director Tommy Smith set out to give audiences as close to the real-deal Ellington experience as possible. And he succeeded.

Audience responses were ecstatic and reviews enthused about the triumph in presenting the music, which spanned almost Ellington’s entire career, as both true to the spirit of the original and as if it was freshly minted.

The repertoire includes such Ellington hits as Black & Tan Fantasy, Concerto for Cootie, Harlem Airshaft and a ravishing tenor-piano duet of The Single Petal of a Rose and as well as movements from The Queen’s Suite, it features extracts from Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s, at the time, controversial re-interpretation of Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite.

With outstanding individual performances from soloists including pianist Brian Kellock and a world-class ensemble sound, this is Ellington and the SNJO rockin’ in rhythm, harmony and peerless swingtime.

"These and more are mighty performances absolutely in the spirit of Duke."
The Herald
"Excellent recorded sound captures the full detail and the celebratory atmosphere of the concerts."
The Scotsman
Daily Telegraph
"Tommy Smith has turned his country's national jazz orchestra into a world-class outfit."
The Guardian
"There will be few better records than this released this year - or any other year!"
Bebop Spoken Here!

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  1. David R Peutherer
    posted on Mar 24, 2019 at 11:01 PM  |  reply

    Absolutely loved Norse Myths in Glasgow tonight.

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'The SNJO deserved all the praise Kurt Elling so graciously lavished on them.'