Yes, today is Duke Ellington’s birthday. But isn’t every day?
By a happy confluence, last night I was listening to the Thrift Set Orchestra‘s debut CD. Talk about rocking in rhythm! (I will have more to say about that disc soon. But don’t wait for me: I assure you it is an aural treat.)
And here is some wonderful evidence I can share with you: to celebrate Duke and to delight us: two versions of THE MOOCHE, that sinuous dance, recorded by the TSO in 2013.
The clarinetists are Jonathan Doyle, David Jellema (the band’s fine cornetist), and Lyon Graulty; that naughty trombone is played by Mark Gonzales; the rhythm section is Albanie Falletta, guitar (she also sings!); Westen Borghesi, banjo; Ryan Gould, string bass; and the always propulsive Hal Smith, drums.
On this day and other days, many of us recall Duke as famous, world-renowned, yet older. I summon up that electric-blue suit; that elaborate hairdo; the deep expression balancing knowledge, sadness, too many late nights.
But Duke was young once. He would have loved the Thrift Set Orchestra. As do I.
May your happiness increase!