Joe Jackson - The Duke
Label: RAZOR & TIE
Regina Carter, Iggy Pop, Sharon Jones, Steve Vai, Joe Jackson, Christian McBride, etc
2012 album from the veteran British singer/songwriter. The Duke finds the iconoclastic artist and five-time Grammy nominee interpreting a series of Ellington classics over the course of 10 tracks, interspersing melodic and rhythmic elements of various compositions in a manner that's consistent with Ellington's own freewheeling approach. The resulting album is a seamless fusion of sounds and styles, whose abundant sense of playfulness is consistent with Ellington's boundary-breaking attitude. The Duke is a decidedly unconventional salute to Ellington, demonstrating the timeless brilliance of his classic compositions while showcasing Joe 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 nonetheless a deeply personal project for Jackson, whose long-standing affinity for Ellington's pioneering spirit has served as a key inspiration throughout his own three-decades-plus career.