In celebration of the release of Joe Jackson's new album The Duke, out today on Razor & Tie, Rolling Stone premiered the track for “It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Go That Swing).” Teaming up with Iggy Pop on vocals, the track challenged both legendary artists to create “something that swings like hell, but isn't actually 'swing,” according to Jackson. In support of the album, Joe Jackson and the Bigger Band are hitting the road this September on a North American tour and includes musicians Regina Carter, Allison Cornell, Jesse Murphy, Adam Rogers, and Nate Smith.
The Duke is a decidedly unconventional salute to Ellington, demonstrating the timeless brilliance of his classic compositions while showcasing Jackson's sublime skills as an arranger, instrumentalist and vocal interpreter. Although it's only the second time he's recorded an album not comprised of his own compositions, The Duke is nonetheless a deeply personal project for Jackson, whose longstanding affinity for Ellington's pioneering spirit has served as a key inspiration throughout his own three-decades-plus career.
The Duke finds the iconoclastic English singer/composer/arranger/keyboardist and five-time Grammy nominee interpreting 15 Ellington classics over the course of ten tracks, interspersing melodic and rhythmic elements of various compositions in a manner that's consistent with Ellington's own freewheeling approach. Rather than emulating the songs' original big-band settings, Jackson filters the material through his own musical imagination while exploring an assortment of unexpected grooves and textures. The resulting album is a seamless fusion of sounds and styles, whose abundant sense of playfulness is consistent with Ellington's boundary-breaking attitude. Though The Duke is a tribute album, it’s also very much a Joe Jackson album, consistent with his long-standing sense of musical adventure.
Guests on the album include Iggy Pop, Sharon Jones, Regina Carter, ?uestlove, Christian McBride, Steve Vai, and many more.
Joe Jackson Tour Dates
09/21: New York, NY – Town Hall
09/22: New York, NY – Town Hall
09/25: Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie Theatre
Check out Joe Jackson's Website
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