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Sweet Thunder (Duke & Shak)

Delfeayo MarsalisAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Price: $17.27 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2011 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2011 $17.27  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Such Sweet Thunder 6:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Sonnet for Sister Kate 2:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Sonnet to Hank Cinq 4:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Half the Fun 9:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Up & Down 3:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Madness in Great Ones 5:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Star Crossed Lovers 6:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Sonnet in Search of Moor 8:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Telecasters 5:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Sonnet for Caesar 7:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Lady Mac 3:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Circle of Fourths 8:19$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Image of album by Delfeayo Marsalis


Image of Delfeayo Marsalis


Delfeayo Marsalis was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on July 28, 1965. He began studying trombone at age 13, and attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts high school. He was classicically trained at the Eastern Music Festival and Tanglewood Institute. In 1983, Delfeayo performed Gordon Jacob’s Trombone Concerto with the New Orleans Philharmonic and received the Outstanding ... Read more in Amazon's Delfeayo Marsalis Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Sweet Thunder (Duke & Shak) + Minions Dominion + Musashi
Price for all three: $39.45

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  • Minions Dominion $9.99
  • Musashi $12.19

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 18, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Troubadour Jass
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,553 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Troubadour Jass Records is excited to announce the new Delfeayo Marsalis release: Sweet Thunder (Duke & Shak). This recording combines Delfeayo's performance, orchestration and production skills into a jazz masterpiece that would certainly make its contributing historical figures, Duke Ellington & William Shakespeare, proud. Sweet Thunder features a cast of today's finest jazz performers including Branford & Jason Marsalis, Mulgrew Miller, Victor Goines, Charnett Moffett, Reginald Veal and Winard Harper; all of whom combine modern musings with an 'old school' groove, blues and swing. Ellington's original suite, inspired by Shakespearean themes and characters, was composed for a 15-piece jazz orchestra that featured various solo instrumentalists performing musical sonnets and poems. Delfeayo Marsalis has orchestrated this dramatic work for octet, extended the melodic material and created new solo forms that highlight his group's individual and collective strengths.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Thunderous" Triumph February 2, 2011
Format:MP3 Music
With this album, trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis breaks free of the formidable shadow cast by his more famous older siblings, Branford and Wynton; and he does it in a bold way, by reimagining Duke Ellington's famed 1957 Shakespearean tribute, Such Sweet Thunder. As a scholar of the Bard and the Duke and having written a master's thesis on the connection between Ellington and Shakespeare, Delfeayo has a profound understanding of both legends and it shows in this work.

Again, this is not a moldy regurgitation of the original. Instead of working with a full Ellington sized big band, Mr. Marsalis employs an octet; resulting in a sound that is leaner, but tighter. Delfeayo's band swings as hard (or I daresay, even harder than the Ellington band, in some instances) but loses nothing in the richness of the sound, which is a testament to Marsalis' judicious arrangements, which retain an Ellington flavor but consistently avoid slavish recreation.

The difference grabs you right away on the opener/title track, which is a bit more infectious and up-tempo than the original; riding atop Reginald Veal's walking bass and a backbeat set by one of the baddest drummers working today, Winard Harper. Big brother Branford contributes a lyrical soprano sax turn that sets up Delfeayo's muscular Al Grey influenced `bone solo and Mulgrew Miller's piano statement.

The most impressive tracks are the ones where Marsalis expounds on the sections that in Ellington's original recording were virtual interludes; such as "Sonnet to Hank Cinq". Marsalis' version is faithful in spirit to Ellington's original, but gives a lot more room for the soloists to play, which is great news for us, as Delfeayo, and the saxophone trio of Mark Shim, Mark Gross and Jason Marshall are on fire.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have in your jazz collection January 31, 2011
By Ash
Format:MP3 Music
One of the things that I have always appreciated about Delfeayo Marsalis is his ability to keep things consistent with each CD that he does. He also stays true to his "Nawlings" sound and this CD captures the music of this southern city and then some.
The CD's visual bow has a classic look and that's exactly the kind of music that you could expect when you start listening to this compilation.

A great Valentine's day gift, this CD has a fair balance of rag-time music, to traditional jazz and not to mention comfort ballads for the soul. "Star Crossed Lovers" is an instance favorite as it is charming and romantic for snuggling with your loved one and it provides a musical massage for those who require quiet downtime. "Half The Fun" gets its shine from a waltzy beat within which Marsalis improvises.

The "wah wah" sound of the instrument on "Sonnet for Sister Kate" mimics the sounds of a woman's lamentations and as I close my eyes and listen, I want to make this woman stop her wailing, but the tones that come forth are filled with such sweetness and so guttural that I want to hear more of it.

I would definitely invest in to add to my jazz collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
Delfeayo Marsalis, a classically trained master trombonist, invites an "all-star" cast consisting of brothers, Branford and Jason Marsalis, Mulgrew Miller, Reginald Veal, Charnet Moffett, Winard Harper, et al, to join him in his fresh and invigorated arrangements of this Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn classic. The talented ensemble breathes new life into the Shakespearean Suite while at the same time, Mr. Marsalis' inventive and thoughtful interpretations preserve the original personalities as Mr. Ellington originally intended. The three well known and talented drummers add considerable fire power and their presence assures that this CD is hard driving and at times, excitingly fast with many exhilarating changes in tempo.

The music, however, is not only about the rhythm section as the trumpeter and saxophonists hold their own with brilliant solos and superb improvisations. Mr. Marsalis, with an ease and grace, alternately brings mellow and tender themes of eloquence, intimacy, loves lost or found, etc., cleverly draws an outline on a canvas and fills it with beautiful and subtle colors and moods. His songs are playful and his trombone soars with power and emotes with passion and tragedy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and thoughtful July 4, 2011
Format:Audio CD
Duke Ellington composed music covering an extraordinary range of themes. His 12-song suite Such Sweet Thunder is not among his better-known works, but it is a beautiful and thoughtful piece of music that possesses all the coloration, dynamics and swing that Ellington is known for. Delfeayo Marsalis has been fascinated with this work for years and his interpretation of the work, Sweet Thunder, is the result of meticulous scholarship and practice, including a live performance of the suite that helped him understand the ways it could be shaped. The impressive packaging of this album contains detailed annotation and commentary, the most provocative of which comes from jazz theorist and composer Gunther Schuller, who argues that Ellington is beyond interpretation. Schuller suggests that any interpretation of Ellington's music cheapens it, yet Marsalis answers this challenge with the equally convincing argument that Such Sweet Thunder was designed by Ellington as a kind of blueprint to be explored by others. In his research, Marsalis discovered that Ellington's original score was different from the final recording, so he adapted his version from both sources.

Marsalis achieves the remarkable feat of maintaining fidelity to Ellington's creation while altering it in subtle and wonderful ways. Several pieces, particularly the sonnets, are organized very closely to the original arrangements, but others are opened up dramatically. "Circle of Fourths" is expanded in scope to the point where it becomes the finale of the suite in the Marsalis version. Delfeayo is mindful of the players he's working with, taking a cue from Ellington, who wrote parts with the strengths of his band members in mind.
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