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Ed Neumeister | Suite Ellington

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Chamber Jazz Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Suite Ellington

by Ed Neumeister

Modern Ellingtonian Jazz, Improvisation, New Arrangements and Reharmonisation.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Caravan (Live)
10:01 album only
2. Come Sunday (Live)
10:48 album only
3. Sunset and the Mocking Bird (Live)
4:05 album only
4. Lightning Bugs and Frogs (Live)
4:46 album only
5. Le Sucrier Velours (Live)
4:49 album only
6. The Single Pedal of a Rose (Live)
4:39 album only
7. Northern Lights (Live)
8:19 album only
8. Apes and Peacocks (Live)
5:11 album only
9. Depk (Live)
7:53 album only


Album Notes
1. Caravan (Juan Tizol) 10:01
2. Come Sunday (Duke Ellington) 10:48

The Queens Suite (Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn)
3. Sunset and the Mocking Bird 04:05
4. Lightning Bugs and Frogs 04:47
5. Le Sucrier Velours 04:49
6. The Single Pedal of a Rose 04:39
7. Northern Lights 03:07
8. Apes and Peacocks 05:11

From Far East Suite (Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn)
9. DEPK 07:53

Billy Drewes – Alto Sax & Clarinet, Jim Rotondi – Trumpet & Flugelhorn,
Ed Neumeister – Trombone, Fritz Pauer – Piano, Peter Herbert – Contra Bass,
Jeff Ballard – Drums

Arranged and Produced by Ed Neumeister
In memory of Fritz Pauer

Celebrating the 100th birthday of the great Billy Strayhorn, composer, arranger, trombonist, Ed Neumeister, releases his latest album with a collection of his arrangements of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s lessor known masterpieces arranged for jazz sextet. Included in the collection is the complete Queens Suite, Come Sunday from Black Brown & Beige, DEPK from the Far East Suite, and the Juan Tizol classic Caravan.

Featuring some of the finest interpreters of creative music today. Ed Neumeister, who played with the Duke Ellington Orchestra for over fifteen years, takes the Ellington/Strayhorn evolution as inspiration and adds his personal touch to the arrangements that allows the players to contribute with their own unique voices resulting in a modern creative reading of these half-century old classics.

Media Contact: Doris Rothauer: MeisteroMusic Productions: Doris@EdNeumeister.com

Suite Ellington – Liner Notes

My connection with the Ellington Organization began in 1981, subbing on the hit Broadway show Sophisticated Ladies, featuring the music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn and conducted by Duke’s son Mercer. This led to me joining the Orchestra soon after.

I played in the Orchestra for 16+ years. In addition to playing trombone, I was also asked, from time to time, to put together arrangements for the Band to perform. Mercer would give a score by Ellington, a score of the same tune arranged by Strayhorn, a recording or two and some isolated parts. Mercer would ask me to “figure this out, I want to play it” and usually added “tomorrow.”

This was a fantastic opportunity for me. As a composer, arranger and student of Ellington and Strayhorn I was able to checkout the scores in their own hand.

It inspired me that they both kept evolving musically, arranging and rearranging some of their popular and not so popular pieces. One of the mysteries of the Ellington/Strayhorn collaboration was what exactly was composed by Ellington or Strayhorn or both. I think they were the only two people who really knew.

I’m especially fond of the Queen’s Suite, which Ellington and Strayhorn wrote for the Queen of England after their meeting with the Queen in 1958. Impressed by the Queen, Ellington composed, recorded and pressed one single copy and sent it to her. The suite was not released to the public until 1976, two years after Duke’s death.

The idea that they were constantly rearranging their own pieces inspired me to arrange some of their more obscure pieces, mostly from their larger suites, for a project that celebrated Ellington’s 100th birthday in 1999. The result of the original, 1999, Suite Ellington projects were two successful tours in Europe. The project was resurrected in 2010 for a European tour and as part of a three-day portrait of my music at the famed Porgy & Bess club in Vienna.

During this tour the concert in Graz, Austria, at the Orpheum was recorded by the Austrian Broadcast Network (ORF). The results of which you are, hopefully, listening to now.

As you can hear, it was a special night, musically, and the audience was with us 100 percent, so the atmosphere was electric.

All the players on this recording are long time friends and associates. Billy Drewes and I go back to 1980. Billy was one of the first people I met when I moved to New York and we’ve been good friends and musical brothers ever since. Billy is also on my Metro Music CD from 1997.

Jeff Ballard and I felt a musical kinship the moment we first played together. He’s always such a joy to listen to and play with. Jeff oozes groove.

Peter Herbert and I also go back to the 80’s New York days and we’ve played together in many different situations since. Peter is a consummate composer/musician able to go anywhere.

Jim Rotondi and I have played many different gigs together in New York, including in the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Jim always sounds great regardless of the stylistic situation.

Fritz Pauer, unfortunately, is no longer with us. He passed away suddenly in 2012. Fritz and I were long time friends and musical collaborators, I played several concerts as a side-man in his bands, we had a long time trio with the great vocalist Jay Clayton and he played in my Quartet, with John Hollenbeck and Drew Gress, including our two recordings New Standards and Reflection.

My first contact with Fritz was a duo concert we played at Jazzland in Vienna back in 1992 during my first European solo tour. At one point in the middle of the set Fritz looked up at me and said: “I can’t believe what my fingers are doing!” That was Fritz. I miss him dearly and dedicate this album to him and his great spirit, musical and otherwise.


Ed Neumeister

Quote for center panel:

“Bill Strayhorn was my right arm, my left arm, all the eyes in the back of my head, my brainwaves in his head, and his in mine.” Duke Ellington



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