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Duke Ellington Orchestra at Birdland

- Jazz and Cabaret Corner

Duke Ellington Orchestra
(Ellington Bio)
Paul Mercer Ellington and Jack Jeffers, Music Directors

Most Tuesday Nights

315 West 44th Street, NYC
Gianni Valenti, Owner
Andy Kaufman, Business Manager
Tarik Osman, Manager

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
August 3, 2004

Tonight’s second set, with some summer replacements leading and performing in this lively orchestra, began with a mellow bass solo in a slow swing, enhanced by trumpet and sax. Mercer Ellington’s 22 Cent Stomp was conducted in an even and energetic pace, with powerful trumpet effects following a sultry solo on sax. Tonight’s Guest Bandleader played a sensational saxophone and provided some commentary and anecdotes. The 9/11 Suite was introduced with a long riff on sax, melodic and moody, and meandered with intermittent, edgy music. This 15-piece orchestra then presented pieces with piano leads and blended trumpets, backed by pleasant percussion, in sensational swing rhythms.

Three soloists took turns on clarinet, muted trumpet, and trombone. The clarinet was whispering soft in muted trio accompaniment, and the total effect was quite enjoyable. Caravan, with a muted trombone, was performed in complete focus, as soloists closed their eyes in rapture. Another Mercer Ellington work brought out a blazing trombone with the Bandleader on saxophone. Birdland rocked with rousing rhythms tonight. You can catch the Ellington Orchestra most Tuesday nights in two sets at Birdland. See Duke Ellington’s original piano, when it was recently shown at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery.

Tarik Osman and Jorge Torres, Guest and Star of Forever Tango on Broadway
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Jorge Torres and Milena Garcia, Guest
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Jorge and Roberta
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Duke Ellington Orchestra
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at