Did anyone ever suspect that someone would mix Beyonce with Duke Ellington and his band? I can safely say I didn’t see this one coming. My music director called me into his office to give this a listen, and I truly couldn’t believe it. I must have heard Single Ladies by Beyonce a million times, but even though she is singing the lyrics, I didn’t even recognize it because of the way it was mixed with Duke.
Anyway, you’ve got to give this a listen – just for fun.
Jazz, like almost any other art form, is not without its off-stage drama. As a (below average) trumpet player, I am sensitive to the fact that there have been too many trumpeters before me who passed away far too early for a variety of far too unfortunate reasons. The list includes Clifford Brown, Bunny Berigan (see my remembrance of Berigan here) and of course, Lee Morgan.
I certainly don’t take murder or the loss of life lightly. And the murder of trumpeter Lee Morgan at the young age of 33 was a huge tragedy, as the jazz world had only been given a taste of what would no doubt be a legendary career. But there is always a story behind a story, and that is what we take a look at today.
There have been a number of different stories and accounts as to how Lee Morgan’s death took place, and for what reasons. I came across a very interesting interview with drummer Billy Hart, that I have linked for you to listen to here. Be advised – the interview contains explicit language that could be found offensive.
When your name is Duke Ellington, it doesn’t really matter what anniversary of your birth it might be, or how long you’ve been dead, there always seems to be a stream of celebrations and remembrances every April 29th. On this, the 110th anniversary of Duke Ellington, one of the greatest musicians and composers in history, I chose to remember Duke in a different way.
Ellington died five years before I was born, so for me to “remember” him might be a little out of place. Instead, I invite you to click the link below and listen to a portion of my 2007 interview with legendary trumpeter Clark Terry.
Terry spent years touring and recording with Duke, and in the audio Terry remembers Duke, talks about his attitude towards compositions that just didn’t quite work, and compares Ellington to Count Basie.
To hear this audio blog, click here. Enjoy!
KPLU’s four weekday jazz hosts, Dick Stein, Robin Lloyd, Abe Beeson, and myself, individually sat down and recorded thoughts on a variety of topics related to jazz.
With all of us coming from different backgrounds and upbringings, you will hear very different and interesting perspectives on topics ranging from what the first jazz we remember ever hearing, what music was playing when we were growing up, what how we got hooked on jazz, what live jazz performance blew our mind, what jazz musicians we think are doing great things today, and, if we could pick anyone to see play one song in concert, alive or dead, who would it be.
Enjoy the first Groove Notes Audio Blog by clicking here.
Watch Teddy Wilson, Benny Goodman, and Lionel Hampton play Moonglow, as picked by Dick Stein:
Watch Thelonious Monk play ‘Round Midnight, as picked by Abe Beeson:
Watch Michael Brecker, as picked by Kevin Kniestedt:
Watch Dizzy Gillespie play Manteca, as picked by Robin Lloyd: