16 Full Tracks at 44.1kHz plus DigiPak, Booklet & Slipcase CD mixed and mastered by Jan Erik Konshaug, Rainbow Studios
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.
★★★★★ THE HERALD ★★★★★ THE SCOTSMAN ★★★★★ DAILY TELEGRAPH
① Black and Tan Fantasy [3:46]
② In The Hall Of The Mountain King [3:06
③ Jack the Bear [3:38]
④ Le Sucrier Velours [3:08]
⑤ Daybreak Express [3:33]
⑥ Concerto For Cootie [3:55]
⑦ Harlem Air Shaft [2:51]
⑧ Prelude To A Kiss [4:47]
⑨ Sepia Panorama [3:00]
⑩ Ko-Ko [2:56]
⑪ Morning Mood [4:27]
⑫ Anitra's Dance [3:02]
⑬ The Single Petal Of A Rose [4:05]
⑭ Kinda Dukish & Rockin' In Rhythm [5:35]
⑮ Sunset and the Mockingbird [3:49]
⑯ Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue [14:15]
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.
Tommy Smith, tenor saxophone & director; Brian Kellock, piano; Ruraidh Pattison, lead alto & soprano saxophone, clarinet; Martin Kershaw lead clarinet & alto saxophone; Konrad Wiszniewski, alto & tenor saxophone, clarinet; Bill Fleming, alto & baritone saxophone, clarinet & bass clarinet; Ryan Quigley, Cameron Jay, Tom MacNiven, James Marr, trumpets; Chris Greive & Phil O'Malley, trombones; Michael Owers, bass trombone; Calum Gourlay, acoustic bass; Alyn Cosker, drums.
Recorded live in Scotland 24th-28th October 2012
Cover art work by Anmalo
Engineered by Mark McKellen
Mixed and mastered by Jan Erik Konshaug, Rainbow Studios, Oslo, Norway 5th & 6th December 2012
Photography by Andy Catlin
Designed by Nadja von Massow
Liner notes and production by Tommy Smith
★★★★★ THE HERALD
★★★★★ THE SCOTSMAN
"Excellent recorded sound captures the full detail and the celebratory atmosphere of the concerts."
★★★★★ DAILY TELEGRAPH
"Tommy Smith has turned his country's national jazz orchestra into a world-class outfit."
BEBOP SPOKEN HERE "There will be few better records than this released this year - or any other year!"
★★★★★ HERALD “SNJO'S best display ever.” "These and more are mighty performances absolutely in the spirit of Duke."
★★★★★ SCOTSMAN “It is testimony to both the band and the music that it all emerged sounding freshly-minted.”
JAZZ JOURNAL “A near sell-out Perth Theatre was swung majestically from the 1920s (Creole Love Call) to the Duke's later suites by a 15-piece band which had not only mastered a raft of often complex arrangements but could also slot itself unerringly into the richness and tenderness of the Ellington manner. And it's a band which has dipped into the music of Weather Report and will soon tackle Miles Davis and Gil Evans: its adaptability is frankly amazing.”