English singer-songwriter Joe Jackson knew that when he recorded an album in tribute to jazz legend Duke Ellington, he wanted the product to be unconventional and fun, much in the spirit of Ellington himself. “This album is an irreverent tribute to Duke Ellington, a man I revere,” he tells Rolling Stone.
For the record, Jackson teamed up with Iggy Pop for the track “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” which both viewed as a formidable task. “The challenge on this track was to create something that swings like hell, but isn’t actually ‘swing,'” Jackson explains. “Iggy found the vocal challenging at first, too – as he said, ‘This shit ain’t for sissies’ – but it all came together and we had a lot of fun.”
Joe Jackson’s album, The Duke, will be released on Razor & Tie on June 26th, and he will embark on a supporting North American tour this fall. You can download “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” for free here.