Although likely to fall between the cracks of the dozens of Ellington tributes released during the globally celebrated centennial anniversary of Duke’s birth last year, this one deserves at least passing acknowledgement. Putting aside for the moment Previn’s many accomplishments in the worlds of formal orchestral music, film scoring, and conducting, he has been a recognized jazz pianist since 1956, when he helped make the Shelly Manne Trio recording of My Fair Lady a chart-topper, at least in pop-jazz. Here, with the featured backing of acoustic bassist David Finck, a remarkably impressive soloist in his own right, Previn pays homage to the master with impeccably articulated and sometimes swinging performances of 13 Duke tunes, expectedly inclusive of the most familiar titles, but also “Isfahan,” “Squatty Roo,” “Serenade to Sweden” and “I Didn’t Know About You.”
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