“Plenty of fine discs have honored Duke this year, and this eclectic album ranks among the best.” – Bob Young, Boston Herald
The “Arkadia Jazz All-Stars” is a group established in 1996 as the brainchild of Bob Karcy, Producer, musician, Founder and CEO of Arkadia Records. Karcy’s original goal was to harness the creative brilliance of the Artists on its Arkadia Records labels, along with select guest musicians representing some of Jazz’s biggest stars, to create an unparalleled series of newly recorded, thematically unified studio albums. So far, ten albums have been recorded and three more are in production. The Arkadia Jazz All-Stars albums have been honored with three Grammy Award Nominations.
““This album contains moments of genuine inspiration, plus a high level of artistry and craftsmanship. Mission accomplished, artfully.” – Owen Cordle, JazzTimes
The “Arkadia Jazz All-Stars: Thank You, Duke (Our Tribute to Duke Ellington)”, creates a remarkable tribute to one of Jazz music’s most eminent composers and important personalities. We at Arkadia Jazz feel it is important to honor the legacy of some of Jazz’s greats. For our “Thank You” Series of musical homages, we asked our artists go into the studio and record all new, previously unreleased versions of songs either derived from or influenced by the enduring legacy of Jazz’s royalty, in this case, the incomparable Duke Ellington.
Lead Artists are: Benny Golson, Joanne Brackeen, T.K. Blue, Billy Taylor, Harold Land, and Joris Teepe, and Eric Reed from our Joe Henderson project.
Special Guest Artists are: Mulgrew Miller, Chris Potter, Buster Williams, James Hurt, Carl Allen, Steve Nelson, Terrell Stafford, Billy Higgins, Don Braden, Ira Coleman, Horacio ” El Negro” Hernandez, and Randy Weston.
“…there is no sign of age in any of the timeless themes, certainly not in this interpretation.” – Ray Redmond, Jazz USA
In this diverse and exciting collection from Arkadia’s recording artists, a talented and multifaceted assemblage of musicians – each in his own style and manner – pays tribute to Duke Ellington, playing tunes Duke wrote or made famous. Ellington´s influence is something for which we will remain in debt for many years to come. As such, we feel very strongly that it is important to say… Thank you, Duke!
Bob Karcy’s ultimate aim is that the Arkadia Jazz All-Stars, in addition to creating new, exciting and stellar music, would emerge as an artistically successful recording group on its own, and serve as a showcase for the Artists on Arkadia Records, allowing them to create awareness and recognition, and helping our Artists expand beyond their hard core fans.
|1. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore||BENNY GOLSON:
Benny Golson: Tenor sax; Mulgrew Miller: Piano; Buster Williams: Bass; Carl Allen: Drums
|2. In a Sentimental Mood||BILLY TAYLOR:
Billy Taylor: Piano
|3. Day Dream||T.K. BLUE:
T.K. Blue: Alto sax; James Hurt: Piano; Curtis Lundy: Bass; Eric McPherson: Drums
|4. Sophisticated Lady||JOANNE BRACKEEN:
Joanne Brackeen: Piano
|5. Isfahan||ERIC REED:
Eric Reed: Piano; Terrell Stafford: Trumpet; Carl Allen: Drums; Steve Nelson: Vibraphone; Rodney Whitaker: Bass
|6. In a Sentimental Mood||HAROLD LAND:
Harold Land: with string orchestra; Ray Ellis: Arranger; Billy Higgins: Drums
|7. Chromatic Love Affair||T.K. BLUE and RANDY WESTON:
T.K. Blue: Soprano sax; Randy Weston: Piano
|8. Mood Indigo||BENNY GOLSON:
Benny Golson: Tenor sax; Mulgrew Miller: Piano; Buster Williams: Bass; Carl Allen: drums
|9. Come Sunday||JOANNE BRACKEEN:
Joanne Brackeen: Piano; Ira Coleman: Bass; Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez: Drums
|10. The Feeling of Jazz||JORIS TEEPE:
Joris Teepe: Bass; Chris Potter: Tenor sax; Don Braden: Soprano sax; David Hazeltine: Piano; Bruce Cox: Drums
All tracks produced by: Bob Karcy, except track 6, produced by Ralph Simon
Total Time: 60 minutes
What the Critics Say:
“…this disc is an outstanding collection of music… …some of the most insightful readings of the Ellington book available… …it’s all of the highest caliber.” – Jim Trageser, American Reporter
“This third in a series of tribute albums features a talented and diverse collection of musicians interpreting ten songs written by or associated with Duke Ellington. …this CD is packed with incredibly moving solos, single voices playing with those familiar melodies in new ways… This is an album to fall in love with instantly.” – Jeanette Houser, Victory Music Review
“This celebration…features 26 top musicians interpreting ten songs associated with the great Duke, all given fresh treatments and colorful interpretations.” – Courier Lifestyles
“Plenty of fine discs have honored Duke this year, and this eclectic album ranks among the best.” – Bob Young, Best CDs of ’99, Boston Herald
“Even with competition so deep and wide, this release by Arkadia stands out as one of the best and, unquestionably, one of the best jazz offerings of the year… Each of these stalwart musicians managed to put his or her own stylistic stamp on their approach. …the best thing about the 60 minutes of music on this disc is that it will satisfy both the hardcore jazz fan, as well as novice. …an ideal slice of moody background music for those looking for hip yet romantic ambience… …highly recommended. ” – Hank Davis, Goldmine
“…Randy Weston is an imposing presence on his one appearance, and Joanne Brackeen is the most striking” – Art Lange, E Pulse!
“One of the best tributes released to celebrate the centennial of Duke Ellington’s birth is “Thank You, Duke!”… Highlights include tenor saxophonist Benny Golson’s happy-go-lucky take of “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore”. …pianist Billy Taylor’s dreamy “In A Sentimental Mood”, and Joanne Brackeen’s unusual approach to “Sophisticated Lady”.” – Ken Dryden, Chattanooga Times
“4+/5 Stars! …stands out, not only for the fine music but also for the musicians! …good listening throughout.” – D. Oscar Groomes, O’s Place- Vol.6, No.1
“Arkadia Jazz adds the third installment to its tribute series that includes previous “thank-yous” to John Coltrane and Gerry Mulligan… These grateful Arkadia Jazz All-Stars are proof positive that the third time could be the charm.” – Stacy Meyn, CDNOW
About The Arkadia Jazz All-Stars:
The Arkadia Jazz All-Stars is a group established in 1996 as the brainchild of Bob Karcy, Producer, musician, Founder and CEO of Arkadia Records. Karcy’s original goal was to harness the creative brilliance of the Artists who recorded on its Arkadia Records labels, along with select guest musicians representing some of Jazz’s biggest stars, to create an unparalleled series of newly recorded, thematically unified studio albums. So far, ten albums have been recorded and three more are in production.
These Arkadia Jazz All-Stars releases have been honored with three Grammy Award Nominations.
The “Thank You” Series – Tributes to the most revered artists in the history of Jazz:
The first “Thank You” Series was created to honor the memory and the lasting legacy of many of the greatest and most esteemed artists in the history of Jazz.
The initial album in the “Thank You” series is entitled “Arkadia Jazz All-Stars: Thank You, John! – Our Tribute to John Coltrane” (Grammy Nominated for “My Favorite Things” by David Liebman).
This was followed by “Arkadia Jazz All-Stars: Thank you. Duke! – Our tribute to Duke Ellington”.
The Lead All-Star Members of these two albums are: Benny Golson, Billy Taylor, T.K. Blue, Joanne Brackeen, Nova Bossa Nova, and Joris Teepe.
The Supporting Members performing with them are: Mulgrew Miller, Buster Williams, Carl Allen, Eric Reed, Rodney Whitaker, Mike LeDonne, Vic Juris, Steve Nelson, Terrell Stafford, Ira Coleman, and Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez.
Appearing as Special Guests are: Randy Weston, Don Braden, Chris Potter, Claudio Roditi, Bob Mintzer, David Hazeltine, Bruce Cox, and Harold Land.
Next on the agenda were new tribute albums to Joe Henderson (“Thank You, Joe! – Our Tribute to Joe Henderson”) and Gerry Mulligan (“Thank You, Gerry! – Our Tribute to Gerry Mulligan”). For “Thank You Joe!”, Karcy and Musical Directors Eric Reed and Carl Allen put together an ensemble including Randy Brecker, Terrell Stafford, Steve Nelson, Rodney Whitaker with special guest, Joanne Brackeen.
For “Thank You, Gerry!” (Grammy Nominated for “My Funny Valentine” by Randy Brecker), Karcy and Musical Director, Ted Rosenthal enlisted jazz legends Lee Konitz, Bob Brookmeyer, Randy Brecker, with Javon Jackson, Dean Johnson and Ron Vincent, all of whom performed with Gerry Mulligan’s band.
The next series of albums were conceived as thematically-driven group collections of outstanding singles, representing the best-of-our-best.
The first two albums, “Arkadia Jazz All-Stars: The Stars of Jazz #1” (Grammy Nominated for “Body and Soul” by Branford Marsalis) and “Arkadia Jazz All-Stars: The Stars of Jazz #2” (Grammy Nominated for “My Favorite Things” by David Liebman), present the most highly recognized artists, including Joanne Brackeen, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Benny Golson, Lee Konitz, Branford Marsalis, Billy Taylor, Randy Weston, Gary Bartz, and Nat Adderley.
The “Arkadia Jazz All-Stars: The New Young Lions of Jazz” showcases the next generation of rising stars on the Jazz horizon, including James Carter, Don Braden, Chris Potter, Javon Jackson, Ravi Coltrane, Eric Reed, Stefon Harris, Nicholas Payton, Steve Turre, and Kurt Elling.
The “Arkadia Jazz All-Stars: Out and Out Jazz” captures inventive performances on the cutting edge of modern and free jazz, both fully composed and improvised. This album showcases John Abercrombie, Paul Bley, Joanne Brackeen, John Clark, Andrew Hill, David Liebman, Pat Metheny, Nicholas Payton, Gary Peacock, Sam Rivers, and Reggie Workman.
Everyone has known love, and that emotion is beautifully expressed in “Arkadia Jazz All-Stars: It’s About Love”, a new album of heartfelt romantic ballads, performed by Benny Golson, Nigel Clark, Joanne Brackeen, T.K. Blue, Mary Pearson, Billy Taylor, Kenny Drew, Jr., Eric Reed. It includes the stunning Grammy Nominated “My Funny Valentine” by Randy Brecker.
Arkadia Records continues to create new releases from the Arkadia Jazz All-Stars. Albums currently in production are tributes to Thelonious Monk (“Thank You, Thelonious!”) and Miles Davis (“Thank You, Miles!”), as well a suite of lively standards and compelling original songs for the holiday season.
Bob Karcy’s ultimate aim is that the Arkadia Jazz All-Stars will emerge as an artistically successful recording group in its own right. In addition to creating new, exciting and stellar music, the All-Stars will showcase the Artists on Arkadia Records, creating greater awareness and recognition of their talent, and helping them reach a new generation of listeners far beyond their core fans.