These two photographs, taken from last night's Essentially Ellington concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, show the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, directed by Tommy Smith, in their evening opening set. Played as a part of the London Jazz Festival (now EFG LFJ), SNJO's reproduction of the Ellington repertoire is based on their album In the Spirit of Duke. The festival booklet reads: "Director Tommy Smith sets out to give audiences as close to the real-deal Ellington experience as possible. The music spans most of Ellington's career, including Black and Tan Fantasy, Daybreak Express, Rockin' In Rhythm and a ravishing tenor-piano duet of The Single Petal of a Rose. As well as movements from The Queen's Suite, it features extracts from Ellington and Billy Strayhorn's re-interpretation of Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite."
This set was followed by Mark Lockheart’s more personal interpretation of Ellington classics for a seven piece band, titled Ellington in Anticipation.
Pictures © Ehsan Khoshbakht.