Volume 93, Issue 98

Tuesday, April 4, 2000


Fidelity lost in transmission

Even for teen fare, Skulls just a bit too thick

Halos ready to lunge for brass ring

Ellington sends jazz fans Home

Ellington sends jazz fans Home

Duke Ellington
Going Home...
Platinum Entertainment

In a world of manufactured, formulaic music with morbid and unoriginal lyrics, it's a pleasure to hear the classical sounds of yesteryear oozing with creativity, life and most importantly, fun.

Duke Ellington's Going Home... takes us back to the 1940's, when classy zoot suits and elegant satin dresses could be seen roaming around the legendary Harlem night spot, The Cotton Club. Duke Ellington and his band provided the Cotton's nightly audience with blaring horns and pleasing piano riffs which have become some of the most famous jazz compositions to date.

This collection teams Ellington's instrumentals of the past with some of the best jazz musicians and performers of today. "Swinging At The Cotton Club" is a story of the club audiences' excitement each night when they were in the presence of Ellington's musical genius. The title track is a swinging number with upbeat instrumentals and perfectly executed scats which immediately grab your attention and virtually seat you at your Cotton Club table.

The final number, "It Don't Mean A Thing (If Ain't Got That Swing)," is a perfect end to the album, as Guru and Tashina Daniels utilize their hip-hop and R&B backgrounds to recreate this timeless piece.

For the modern day listener, with an admittedly short attention span, some of these songs may linger too long. To pump up the tempo and do the songs any differently, however, would discredit the jazz tradition this album represents. Going Home... is a vivid recreation of Ellington's era and allows any music fan to take part in the magic of the genre. Fans can put on their best suit, shine their shoes, call their baby and go swinging at the Cotton Club.

– Joel Brown

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Copyright The Gazette 2000