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Ellington in Anticipation

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Feb. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Subtone Records
  • ASIN: B00APNNCWK
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 171,150 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Stunning re-workings of Duke Ellington's classic melodies performed by an all star seven piece group, assembled by Polar Bear and Loose Tubes saxophonist and composer Mark Lockheart. 'Ellington in Anticipation' also features Finn Peters on alto saxophone and flute, Liam Noble on piano and Sebastian Rochford on drums.

Taking many of the Duke's revered compositions such as "It Don't Mean a Thing", "Mood Indigo", "Take the A Train", "Azure" and "Creole Love Call" Lockheart has deconstructed and arranged these well known melodies into a fascinating set of new music, rich in orchestration and concept and entirely respectful to the beauty of Ellington's original creations. Featuring some of the most exciting and original musicians in the UK, this is a unique and radical album which beautifully combines the old with the new.

Personnel: Mark Lockheart (tenor saxophone), Finn Peters (alto saxophone, flute), James Allsopp (clarinets), Emma Smith (violin), Liam Noble (piano), Tom Herbert (bass), Sebastian Rochford (drums)

BBC Review

Over 30 years, tenor saxophonist Mark Lockheart has steadily built up an impressive and eclectic discography.

Alongside albums on which he is leader – this is the eighth – he has been a member of such groundbreaking groups as Loose Tubes, Perfect Houseplants and Polar Bear. He’s also guested on classic records like Prefab Sprout’s Steve McQueen and Radiohead’s Kid A.

To record Ellington in Anticipation, Lockheart selected a star-studded group including his Polar Bear bandmates bassist Tom Herbert and drummer Seb Rochford plus piano ace Liam Noble.

Alongside Lockheart are Finn Peters on alto sax and flute, clarinettist James Allsopp and violinist Emma Smith. That instrumentation gave Lockheart a versatile palette which he’s exploited to produce a rich variety of moods and textures.

The album’s 11 tracks include such well-loved Duke Ellington pieces as Mood Indigo and Creole Love Call alongside four Lockheart originals which borrow from and pay homage to Ellington.

Though Lockheart has been an Ellington fan for 40 years, this is not a tribute album of faithful recreations. Each piece has been rethought and radically remodelled to create vibrant new music. The end results are Ellington for the 21st century.

So, the version of Take the A Train only includes an impressionistic reading of its distinctive horn riff. This piece is used as the basis for a loose, free-flowing improvisation with notable contributions from piano, drums and all three reeds.

In contrast, Lockheart’s My Caravan begins loosely as a percussion-driven improvisation which evolves gradually until closing with a full-blooded rendition of the refrain from Ellington’s own Caravan.

Above all, Lockheart is a first-rate composer and arranger, with Ellington’s knack of deploying individual players to give pieces distinctive characters. His full-bodied tenor playing impresses throughout, both as a soloist and in conjunction with Finn and Allsopp.

Noble’s piano playing repeatedly commands attention, notably on Beautiful Man where he is joined by Smith’s violin to create an appealingly meditative mood, and solo on the hauntingly beautiful closing track Indian Summer.

Ellington in Anticipation seems sure to appeal equally to fans of Polar Bear, Lockheart and the Duke.

--John Eyles

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
EVERY NOW AND THEN, an album comes along which blows my jazz socks off - one of those I can't help but play on loop and identify as being present in my `best of the year' summations. It immediately demands my attention, sends me into rapture, produces involuntary smiles and requires me to tell the world about it! My most recent experience of this has to be Mark Lockheart's `Ellington in Anticipation'.

Released earlier this year (2013), the project was initially conceived for Trinity Laban Conservatoire students. Inspired by Lockheart's love of Ellington's music (introduced to him by his father), it draws together pieces by or associated with `the Duke' (including those of Billy Strayhorn and Victor Herbert) and intersperses them with a number of his own superb compositions. Knowing these jazz standards so well, Mark Lockheart clearly has the authority to (respectfully) deconstruct and reconstruct them into the most fascinating reinterpretations.

Lockheart's credentials as saxophonist and writer need little introduction: Loose Tubes, Perfect Houseplants, Polar Bear and his own excellent albums such as `In Deep' and (with NDR Big Band) `Days Like These'. Numerous recent ventures include Kenny Wheeler's fine `Mirrors' album, Colin Towns' crossover band `Blue Touch Paper' and Dave Stapleton's new `Slowly Rolling Camera' project. The remarkable, full-sounding septet able to realise the creative nature of this recording, with Lockheart on tenor, comprises Finn Peters (alto sax and flute), James Allsopp (clarinet and bass clarinet), Emma Smith (violin), Liam Noble (piano), Tom Herbert (bass) and Seb Rochford (drums).

So what is it that pushes this album onto a significantly higher plane?
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this CD when it was first on pre-release and enjoyed it so much that I bought it as gifts for friends and family at Christmas. Some were hard core jazz fans who enjoyed the arrangements and others like me who do not listen to much jazz enjoyed the interpretation of the big band tunes. All were impressed with the CD from the music to the cover and the poster contained within. I would definitely recommend.
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Format: Audio CD
Mark Lockheart Ellington In Anticipation (Subtone ST802): It's the opening of It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), and not only has Mark Lockheart already been absolutely true to its composer Duke Ellington, with lovely little retro bits of sweet clarinet from James Allsopp, but he has made it into a kind of summary of his own current playing situation, with the unmistakeable sound and groove of his Polar Bear leader, Sebastian Rochford, on drums, some gorgeous modern harmonies in the horn writing, a gruffly rounded tenor solo of his own and even some minimalist suggestions in the plucked pulse of violinist Emma Smith. Finn Peters is on alto, Liam Noble is on piano, and the rest of the album is just as good. I recommend it heartily to absolutely everyone, irrespective of how conservative or radical your jazz taste might be. It is invigorating, inspiring, deeply joyful, life-affirming - it does mean all those things (it does have all those swings). A triumph!

Peter Bacon The Jazz Breakfast
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