Detailed Album Description
The album ’Remembering Billy Strayhorn’ is a celebration of Strayhorn’s 100th anniversary in 2015. Strayhorn is one of the most highly regarded composers in the history of jazz, and the album title might just as well have been ‘A tribute to a genius’, because that’s what Strayhorn was - judging by the tales from those who knew him and by his musical legacy.
Strayhorn was black and originally a pianist, but lived in the shadow of the great Duke Ellington as a composer and arranger with the famous Duke Ellington Orchestra. He was a musical nerd, who preferred a reclusive life, creating great art by composing and arranging for others, even though his pianistic talent was considered among the very greatest on the New York City bebop scene, and would easily have earned him a career as a performer in his own name.
With the album ’Remembering Billy Strayhorn’, we aim to celebrate the introvert creativeness of this deep and thoughtful modern composer, by showing the versatility and complex palette in a collection of his most beautiful works. And, not the least, by improvising on them, because Strayhorn was a jazz-composer, and his dedication to this style was embedded deep in his personal identity.
With this album we wanted not only to contribute our musical voices to the great compositions of Billy Strayhorn, but also to capture some of Strayhorn’s spirit in there, and if you - as a listener - get touched by his soul, we’ve achieved our greatest aim. We hope you will enjoy listening!