Friday, January 28, 2011

Graham Reynolds & The Golden Arm Trio

Add Date: January 25

Artist: Graham Reynolds & The Golden Arm Trio

Album: Duke! Three Portraits of Ellington

Label: Innova

Genre: Jazz

Comments: All tracks on this heavily experimental album are jazz favorites composed by Duke Ellington. The album has three parts to it. The first is a series of songs in the vein of the traditional jazz combo, with excellent trio work by the guys from Golden Arm, interlaced with horn work and solos by guest musicians. The solos often have a more contemporary feel to them, but for classic jazz tone and composition, this part of the album is where to turn.

The second is a series of classical interpretations of Ellington tunes played by a disciplined, yet soulful string quartet. These tracks are both ambient and complex, and astound with their ability to translate Ellington's compositions into a completely different medium (check out track 15).

The third, labeled as remixes, explores an entirely new avenue for Ellington's music. The sounds become much more diverse in this final section of the album, incorporating simultaneously the skills of the horn players from the first section and string players from the second. Some tracks in this section even take on an electronic feel. It is here that the musicians featured come into their own outside the constrictions of genre, and create a unique contemporary angle on every chart.

To summarize, this album offers a stunning variety of interpretations of the Duke's most widely recognized tracks. It is guaranteed to send any jazz fan spiraling into an Ellington phase with a greater appreciation for the scope and influence of his music. For the musician from any genre, it is guaranteed to inspire new thoughts in old sound.

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