Razor & Tie
On this Duke Ellington tribute, Eighties star (and longtime jazz dabbler) Joe Jackson interprets the great composer's classics via his own sophisti-pop style, jettisoning horns entirely on a series of crisp arrangements. Iggy Pop coils himself around a lounge-y "It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)," Questlove drives a hard-swinging "Rockin' In Rhythm," and Jackson’s own rendition of "I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good)" is movingly subtle. Even when it's too adult-contempo (see Steve Vai grating new age cheese all over "Isfahan") this album always has one thing going for it – it makes you want to listen to some Duke Ellington.
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