Sample New Tracks Here:
It Don’t Mean A Thing
New Duke features Torff’s arrangements of Duke Ellington’s Cotton Club period through the 1960s, infused with funk, hip-hop, reggae, and other contemporary rhythms. The band highlights the musical brilliance of one of jazz’s most influential figures in an original light. These arrangements for eight-piece jazz band result in a fresh musical direction. The band performs in concert and festivals, and will release their first recording in the fall of 2014.
New Duke consists of Darryl Tookes, vocals; Brian Torff, bass, arranger and composer, harmonica, and vocals ; Jamie Finnegan, trumpet; Rick Sadlon, saxophone and flute ; Steve Moran, tenor and baritone sax; John Fumasoli, trombone ; Dave Childs, keyboards; and Don Mulvaney, drums. Support for this project comes in part from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Brian loves combining interesting musical forms and is especially proud of Amad as it is a combination of Ellington and hip hop. The rhythm track was created by his son Jarryd, a saxophonist and producer in Montreal. Torff and New Duke created modern mash-ups at the Branford Jazz Festival in 2014.
Their songs include the Ellington classics Take the A Train , Black and Tan Fantasy , It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, East St. Louis Toodle-oo, Mood Indigo, Things Ain’t What They Used to Be and C Jam Blues. New Duke explores new sound textures in Ellington’s sacred works such as Come Sunday and Heaven. They also offer a unique merging of Solitude with Petite Fleur Africaine. A drum and bass hip-hop influence is featured on Amad. Original compositions by Brian Torff include Workin’ On a Bassline and Mary Lou Has Come to Play.
New Duke will release their first recording in the fall of 2014.