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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

Crotchet Superbudget

Ellington Tribute

UMO Jazz Orchestra

Apex 2564-618832


1. Overture
2. Satin Doll
3. Creole Love Call
4. Day Break Express
5. Star-Crossed Lovers
6. Happy Go Lucky Local
7. Caravan / The Mooche
8. Rockin’ In Rhythm
9. Concerto For Cootie
10. Don’t Get Around Much More
11. Prelude To A Kiss
12. Take The ‘A’ Train

Conductor and Piano:
Kirmo Lintinen (soloist on 11 and 12)

Esko Heikkinen (soloist on 3, 4, 7 and 9)
Timo Paasonen (soloist on 6)
Teemu Mattson
Tero Saarti (soloist on 1, 10 and 12)

Markku Veijonsuo (soloist on 7, 8 and 10)
Mikko Mutsonen (soloist on 1, 6 and 7)
Vesa-Matti Mattsson
Pekka Laukkanen

Pentti Lahti (soloist on 1, 5 and 10)
Mikko Jarvinen (lead on 4 and 8)
Jouni Jarvela (soloist on 7)
Teemu Salimen (soloist on 3 and 8)
Janne Murto (soloist on 2)
Pepa Paivinen (soloist on 1)

Pekka Sarmanto (soloist on 2)

Markus Ketola
Mikko Hassinen (on 4 and 8)

The most influential composer and band leader the jazz world has ever seen deserves a quality tribute; and the UMO Jazz Orchestra live up to expectation. Possessed with the free and easy swing the Duke’s own groups were renowned for, they never fail to delight and amaze on this collection of works from different periods. Beautifully arranged with plenty of variation and careful use of every instrument, the interpretations are fresh and original, yet true to Ellington’s original vision; even the distinctive styles of his colleagues - Adelaide Hill’s unique vocals, Bubber Miley’s wa-wa trumpet... - are given the appropriate recognition on classics like ‘Creole Love Call’. Consistently polished, yet bold and daring, the orchestra capture something unique. From the blistering virtuosity of ‘Daybreak Express’, to the delicate sensitivity of ‘Prelude to a Kiss’; from the rich harmonic complexity of Caravan / The Mooche to the lively swing of ‘Take the "A" Train’, every nuance, every intricacy, every change in mood is rendered with truly outstanding finesse and an admirable level of sophistication. And the overall result? The perfect celebration of a giant of jazz, one hundred years after his birth.

Robert Gibson

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