Mark Lockheart: Ellington in Anticipation

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Mark Lockheart
LABELS: Subtone Records
ALBUM TITLE: Mark Lockheart: Ellington in Anticipation
WORKS: Ellington In Anticipation
PERFORMER: Mark Lockheart, Finn Peters (sax), James Allsopp (clarinet), Liam Noble (piano), etc


The music of Duke Ellington and collaborator Billy Strayhorn was tenorist Lockheart’s introduction to jazz as a boy. It certainly triggered something: starting with radical big band Loose Tubes, he has grown into one of the UK’s most creative jazzers in formats big and small.

This septet project, which lightly deconstructs classics such as ‘Creole Love Call’ and ‘Mood Indigo’, is a gem. The arrangements for the pocket orchestra creak and bump along while retaining the composer’s elegant signature. In between, Lockheart’s original numbers such as the jerky ‘My Caravan’ or the sultry ‘Jungle Lady’, with their snatches and quotes, are like waking dreams of the Duke.

Ellington wrote for the musical personalities in his band and Lockheart acknowledges that he’s done the same for the characters around him. That’s why this quirky yet closely held tribute works so beautifully.


Garry Booth