earMUSIC is proud to announce the July 23rd UK release of “The Duke” – Joe Jackson’s tribute to American jazz icon Duke Ellington.
The album will be released on CD, digital download and 12” vinyl. “Ellington didn't consider his own arrangements to be sacred," says Jackson. "He constantly reworked them, sometimes quite radically. I think my approach is in the spirit of the man himself.”
True to Jackson's word, The Duke is a decidedly unconventional salute to Ellington, demonstrating the timeless brilliance of his classic compositions while showcasing Jackson's sublime skills as an arranger, instrumentalist and vocal interpreter.
Although it's only the second time he's recorded an album not comprised of his own compositions, The Duke is a deeply personal project for Jackson, whose longstanding affinity for Ellington's pioneering spirit has served as a key inspiration throughout his own three-decades-plus career.
The Duke finds the iconoclastic English singer/composer/arranger/keyboardist and five-time Grammy nominee interpreting 15 Ellington classics over the course of ten tracks, interspersing melodic and rhythmic elements of various compositions in a manner that's consistent with Ellington's own freewheeling approach.
Rather than emulating the songs' original big-band settings, Jackson filtered the music through his own musical imagination while exploring an assortment of unexpected grooves and textures.
The resulting album is a seamless fusion of sounds and styles, whose abundant sense of playfulness is consistent with Ellington's boundary-breaking attitude.