Ellington seems an appropriate subject for a post on the eve of International Jazz Day. Such Sweet Thunder is a 12-part suite written in 1957 as a tribute to Shakespeare. Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn (composer/ arranger) wrote the music in three weeks, each piece inspired by a character or idea from Shakespeare’s works. I have listened to this album so many times in the last two decades and it still amazes me – it’s complex, beautiful, tragic, full of love and hate, darkness and light, with humour and sadness. The arrangements are exquisitely crafted and the band is impossibly tight. If I could only listen to one album for the rest of my life, this is the one I would choose.
By Amie Brûlée
Amie Brûlée is a musician, performer, teacher and researcher. She sings, plays piano, double bass and ukulele, unearths old songs and writes new ones. Amie also has a PhD in wine and anthropology and adores teaching wine tasting, gastronomy and song-writing. Amie lives in central Victoria with a house full of instruments, a head full of songs and a cellar full of wine.View all of Amie Brûlée's posts.