UT Jazz Orchestra with Carmen Bradford

Duke Ellington's Queenie Pie (Naxos / Longhorn Music)

Texas Platters

UT Jazz Orchestra with Carmen Bradford

Duke Ellington's Queenie Pie (Naxos/Longhorn Music)

Last spring the UT Jazz Orchestra in collaboration with the Huston-Tillotson University Concert Choir presented a rare performance of Duke Ellington's comic folk opera, Queenie Pie. It was the first and only "official" production of Ellington's sole opera, which he didn't finish before his death in 1974. While the presentation was completed through the combined efforts of various sources, this subsequent album is the first recorded release of the opera and bears the unmistakable Ellington imprint of elegance, sophistication, and of course swing. The title role features Austin native Carmen Bradford, who was discovered on a local gig by Count Basie and toured as his star vocalist for almost a decade. A wonderfully expressive singer with a natural feel for the lead role, her contribution alone is worth the price of admission. More a musical than an actual opera, Queenie Pie provides a rare glimpse into yet another facet of Ellington's monumental contribution to American music.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Fall Platters
Jeff Lofton
Jericho (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Nov. 29, 2019

Texas Platters
Golden Dawn Arkestra
Darkness Falls on the Edge of Time (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Sept. 20, 2019

More by Jay Trachtenberg
Ronnie Earle, Gangbuster
Ronnie Earle, Gangbuster
Jesse Sublett revisits Austin’s criminal past in Last Gangster in Austin

June 10, 2022

Inside the Seventies Weed Business in <i>Wild Times in Old Austin</i>
Inside the Seventies Weed Business in Wild Times in Old Austin
Dazed, confused, and profitable

June 10, 2022


UT Jazz Orchestra with Carmen Bradford

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle