In A Sentimental Mood I can see
the stars come thru my room...
"In a Sentimental Mood," "In My Solitude" and "Take the A-Train" are a few of the Ellington classics that will be performed at the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra's All That Jazz concert on Saturday, Nov. 4.
The ASO jazz numbers feature singers and a jazz combo from Metrostage's recent Duke Ellington show. As the Duke himself would say, "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing," and these cats know what swingin is all about!
Although Duke Ellington was a Washington native, he was an ardent admirer of The Big Apple. Harlem, his symphonic tone poem, was commissioned by the NBC Symphony during the Toscanini years. This city within a city is musically illustrated with parades, a funeral procession with its counterpoint of tears, an out-of step chorus line kicking like crazy, the Spanish neighborhood and jazz spoken in a thousand languages.
This musical pastiche painted on a broad symphonic canvas exemplifies the multi-faceted Ellington. In addition to being a pianist, composer, bandleader and arranger, he was also a painter and playwright.
Rounding off this program are two other musical artists who fill their canvases with vibrant color and energy. In Prokofiev's Classical Symphony, jazz influences create a special exuberance.
The concert will open with Frederick Chopin's ravishingly lyrical Piano Concerto featuring Carlos Rodriguez, hailed as "the Latin-American Liszt."
Ellington & company are sure to send us home starry-eyed and "in a sentimental mood."