Saturday August 27, 2011 / 8:00pmDuke Ellington Orchestra Plus An American in Paris
Terrace (Today Only)
8808 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
How was your experience?
This was an enjoyable outing on a beautiful evening. The concert was organized on what I think of as the Hollywood Bowl model, with the resident orchestra (the Pacific Symphony) playing the first half and joining in with the guest band for the second. As one might imagine, the second half featured Ellington classics such as "Take the A Train" and "Satin Doll", which were a treat to hear played by all those wonderful musicians. As a swing lover, I have to say that when the Duke Ellington Orchestra played "Take the A Train" a second time for the encore--this time without the symphony--I realized just how much all those strings had flattened out the swing of the song. It had a lot more punch coming from the smaller band. Given the choice, I'd rather hear the Ellington selections played without the symphony, but I understand that it is the nature of these concerts that the groups play together. At any rate, a great show by wonderful musicians.