“Duke” Ellington is arguably the greatest composer, pianist and bandleader of jazz orchestras. His career from 1923 spanned over 50 years.
Ellington was based in New York City from the mid-1920s onward, and gained a national profile through his orchestra’s appearances at the Cotton Club in Harlem. Members of Ellington’s orchestra, such as Johnny Hodges & Cootie Williams are jazz greats in their own right and his collaborations with composer-arranger-pianist Billy Strayhorn, created long lasting jazz themes including “Perdido”, “It don’t mean a thing” & “Take the “A” train”. Ellington composed incessantly to the very last days of his life. Music was indeed his total life and his commitment to it was incomparable and unalterable. In jazz he was a giant among giants.
A UK jazz great, Alan Barnes on saxophones, leads an all star UK line up to play the wonderful music of Duke Ellington at St.James, featuring Bruce Adams – trumpet, Robin Aspland – piano, Simon Thorpe – double bass & Bobby Worth – drums.
‘Alan infuses his playing with so much passion and energy you could believe it was minted on the spot’ John Walters, The Guardian.
The second of four concerts in “The Wonderful Music of The Jazz Greats” autumn 2015 series at St.James