Duke Ellington composed music covering an extraordinary range of themes. His 12-song suite Such Sweet Thunder is not among his better-known works, but it is a beautiful and thoughtful piece of music that possesses all the coloration, dynamics and swing that Ellington is known for. Delfeayo Marsalis has been fascinated with this work for years [...]
Tag Archives: Duke Ellington
Last night, Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra performed “Shakespeare in Love” at the Contemporary Arts Center. The show revisited Duke Ellington’s Shakespeare-inspired Such Sweet Thunder suite with Harry Shearer reciting Shakespeare’s sonnets. Clarke Peters (who plays Albert Lambreaux on Treme) made an unscheduled appearance to recite from Othello from his cell phone.
Irvin Mayfield loves similes. When contrasting listening to a record versus attending a concert, he says, “It’s like watching the Food Network and then going to the restaurant and eating that dish.” When discussing the dynamics of playing as a collective group of jazz musicians, he says, “It’s like sex. Just because one guy has [...]
In 1957, the Duke Ellington Orchestra recorded Such Sweet Thunder, a suite of 12 compositions based on the writings of William Shakespeare. It was remarkable program music designed to explore the personalities of Shakespearian characters including Lady Macbeth, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Henry V. Some of the pieces were even composed in sonnet form. Delfeayo [...]
In our brand new January 2011 issue, John Swenson interviews trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis for our Backtalk interview about his upcoming release, Sweet Thunder. The album is a reworking of a Duke Ellington suite of the same name, for which Ellington wrote 12 compositions based on plays and sonnets of Shakespeare. Here’s Marsalis performing his new [...]
Blind piano prodigy, Wynton Marsalis protégé and staunch traditionalist Marcus Roberts returns with his first album in eight years, New Orleans Meets Harlem, Vol. 1. He is back with his longtime trio, New Orleans bassist Roland Guerin and drummer Jason Marsalis, reinterpreting the sounds that led from saloons of Storyville to the streets of the [...]