Next week: UMBRIA JAZZ (Winter session at Orvieto)
A few years ago I premiered Bud Powell in the 21st Century with the Umbria Jazz Orchestra — the follow up is:
DIANNE REEVES SINGS BURT BACHARACH
arranged and conducted by Ethan Iverson
featuring Romero Lubambo, Peter Washington, Dan Weiss
The big show with Dianne is on December 28, 30, and 31. Happy New Year!
I also play a trio set with Peter Washington and Dan Weiss on January 1.
This is my second 2022 Bacharach project; the first was with Mark Morris, The Look of Love. After working behind the scenes promoting Bacharach’s music for so many years, two projects are landing more or less at the same time. (MMDG The Look of Love is touring next year and points forward including Berkeley CA and BAM Brooklyn. Review in Washington Post.)
A few “Iversonian” moments are the same in the two projects (there’s a distinctive odd-meter chorus in “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” for example) but most of it different. Dianne had a few requests, the keys are changed, and of course big band is a whole other kind of animal than the chamber music situation for Mark Morris.
For MMDG there are two professional backup-singers, while in Orvieto, the members of the band will sing “Don’t stop!” on “Walk on By.”
Nelson Riddle is an influence. On tracks with Frank Sinatra like “All or Nothing at All” or “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” Riddle wrote interludes that leave the form and feature truly unexpected pedal points and counterpoint.
For Dianne and the big band I’ve let my hands go during a few interludes, my version of that kind of Nelson Riddle moment. On Twitter I posted the computer playing the interlude for “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.” (The dancing Kit Kat was my reward for a good day’s work.)
As this project slowly came together over the last year and a half I went out to see Dianne Reeves perform three times (on the first occasion I wrote it up for DTM). She’s got an incredible voice and commands the stage like the queen she is. I’m very lucky to have this opportunity to give her a luxurious setting for these wonderful songs.
Have loved Bud Powell in the 21st Century -- sure hope there’s consideration for this one becoming an album, too (for those of us not making the trek to Umbria)