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.

***.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 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  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
The Young Mothers
Morose (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Sept. 7, 2018

Texas Platters
Zack Varner
Blues in the Nude (Record Review)

Jeremy Steinberger, Aug. 24, 2018

More by Jay Trachtenberg
Review: <i>Lake Success</i>
Review: Lake Success
Gary Shteyngart's novel takes a witty bite out of the 0.01%

Sept. 13, 2018

<i>Presidio</i> by Randy Kennedy
Presidio by Randy Kennedy
For his debut novel, Kennedy creates a road story that portrays the harsh West Texas terrain beautifully and fills it with sympathetic characters.

Sept. 14, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

UT Jazz Orchestra with Carmen Bradford

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
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

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

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