William Parker Orchestra Essence of Ellington / Live in Milano

William Parker Orchestra Essence of Ellington / Live in Milano
Documenting the worldwide debut of bassist/composer William Parker's new jazz creation, Essence of Ellington finds his orchestra distilling what Parker refers to as "the glow around the music that has nothing to do with what the music sounds like" from the songs of the Duke (and others), and making the compositions their own. It's a strategy that pays off in spades, especially since Parker and the other 13 players in his orchestra are so full of verve that each second of music literally bursts from the stereo. Particularly amazing are the vocal talents of Mr. Ernie Odoom, who croons smoothly on "Sophisticated Lady" before erupting into glossolalia in "Take the Coltrane." His inclusion is akin to the dusting of chocolate sprinkles on a beautifully iced cake. While the entire concert is presented in a package spanning the entirety of two CDs, there's never a moment where the energy drops. As a matter of fact, closing number "Caravan" and the original composition played as an encore are further examples of what this orchestra peddle: pure joy! (Aum Fidelity)