Beppe Aliprandi

Duke, I Love You Madly

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Released in 1999, the 100th anniversary of the Duke's birthday, this loving tribute combines re-workings of popular Ellington tunes with original compositions in period style. Aliprandi calls his group the Jazz Academy Sextet, and it features the leader on alto and tenor saxophones, along with trombone, soprano saxophone, and a strong rhythm section featuring star pianist Stefano Battaglia. While there are some interesting takes on Ellington, and strong arranging by Aliprendi, this recording hardly stands out among the plethora of reminiscences. To Aliprendi's credit, he reinterprets, rather than copies, the original orchestrations, although not all the tracks are equally successful. Battaglia is stunning throughout and the leader has a good ear for nuance in his solos. But, this is hardly an indispensable piece of Ellingtonia or of Italian jazz.

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