Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue marks 50th anniversary of release of historic Ellington-Mingus-Roach recording
Featuring Gerald Clayton and Christian McBride, with guests Clark Terry, Lizz Wright, Herbie Hancock and others.
In 1962, Duke Ellington recorded a trio date with bassist Charlie Mingus and drummer Max Roach that is today considered one of the pivotal jazz recordings of the 1960s. Money Jungle, the 1963 album that emerged from the session, was -- among other things -- a commentary on the perennial tug-of-war between art and commerce. In some ways, the album's 11 tracks were intended as a sort of counterbalance to the capitalist bent of the Mad Men generation.
Fifty years later, this precarious balance in the world of jazz -- or in any art form, for that matter -- hasn't changed much. Enter GRAMMY® Award-winning drummer, composer and bandleader Terri Lyne Carrington, who enlists the aid of two high-profile collaborators -- keyboardist Gerald Clayton and bassist Christian McBride -- to pay tribute to Duke, his trio and his creative vision with a cover of this historic recording. Carrington's Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue is set for release on Concord Jazz on February 5, 2013 (international release dates may vary).
Duke's original recording is something that has haunted Carrington since she first heard it about a decade ago. "I had bought it on CD, from the discount bin in a music store," she recalls. "I put it on in my car, and I immediately just felt something mysterious about it. There was just an energy that moved through the tracks. Duke and Charles and Max had a chemistry about them. There was this tension that you could hear, and yet they fit together like a hand in a glove."
In preparation for the project, Carrington read up on Duke's biography. "I felt like a method actor, she says. "I just dug as deep as I could in the time that I had to get a glimpse of his perspective on things. When you start rearranging music by someone like Duke Ellington, you better feel really good about what you're doing. In the end, I felt confident that I didn't do him a disservice, because he was a very open-minded artist, and he was very much about moving forward."
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