TO PAY homage is to honour and show respect, not necessarily to emulate. These interpretations of classic compositions by Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, Thelonious Monk and Louis Armstrong, along with two originals, are an affectionate tribute to great music.
But Sam Anning (bass), Allan Browne (drums) and Marc Hannaford (piano) create new songs from old, showing love for the originals by moving on. Some (King Porter Stomp, Hotter Than That) retain the feel of the originals, but others are strikingly different.
Ellington’s In My Solitude casts aside its laid-back, cinematic mood to become a deeply moving, reflective soliloquy. And the expansive, slow swing of Duke’s Prelude to a Kiss becomes intimate and introspective. Insistent piano and growling bowed bass give Black and Tan Fantasy more rhythmic definition than many early versions.
Better than imitation or flattery, Homage is praise anew.