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African Tarantella

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Album Review

On this unusual project, vibraphonist Stefon Harris performs three excerpts apiece from Duke Ellington's "New Orleans Suite" and his lesser-known "The Gardner Meditations" plus two pieces from the Duke's "The Queen's Suite." The sensitive "Single Petal of a Rose" is the best known of these selections. Rather than use a big band, Harris is joined by viola, cello, flute, clarinet, trombonist Steve Turre (who is wonderful on "Portrait of Wellman Braud"), and a piano-bass-drums rhythm section. The arrangements are colorful and inventive, with Harris (who doubles on marimba) usually being heard as the lead voice. African Tarantella serves as further proof that Duke Ellington's music, in addition to being enormous in quantity, can be interpreted in an infinite number of colorful ways. Well worth several listens.


Born: March 23, 1973 in Albany, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Vibraphonist/percussionist Stefon Harris originally planned to pursue his musical ambitions as a member of the New York Philharmonic, but his first exposure to the music of Charlie Parker convinced him to play jazz instead. Emerging during the mid-'90s on sessions led by Steve Turre, Charlie Hunter, and others, he made his solo debut in 1998 with the Blue Note release A Cloud of Red Dust. The Grammy-nominated Black Action Figure followed a year later. A collaboration with labelmate, pianist Jacky...
Full Bio
African Tarantella, Stefon Harris
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Contemporary Jazz, Music, Jazz, Hard Bop
  • Released: Oct 03, 2006

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