Mike Westbrook Recordings
Track Listing
the single
Some of Says the Duke was recorded here.
1. Says The Duke
At a time of crisis, public or personal, a Jazz musician will often turn to the Blues. Duke Ellington once said, when asked how he dealt with the problem of racism “I write another Blues”. The threat of Covid-19 led to the cancellation of all our performances, including a tribute to Ellington at Ronnie Scotts on his birthday, April 29th. In response to the situation, we were given by Jazz South the opportunity to write and record a new piece for the Granite Band. We decided to follow Duke’s example and ‘write another blues’.

Says the Duke is not a Blues in any conventional sense. It does not break down into the familiar 12 or 8 bar choruses. In fact the basic ‘chorus’ is 88 bars long. Yet it is faithful to the mood and spirit of the Blues. The lyrics of Says the Duke evoke our memory of the Ellington Orchestra’s final concert in London, at the Rainbow in 1973. Cootie Williams, Paul Gonsalves and Harry Carney were still there and in great form. In our piece there are quotes from the Duke himself, references to his compositions and name-checks for his legendary musicians.
S a y s   t h e   D u k e
remembering Duke Ellington

Kate and Mike Westbrook
photo: Matthew North
music by Mike Westbrook
words by Kate Westbrook
with quotes from Duke Ellington
Kate Westbrook voice
Roz Harding alto saxophone
Jesse Molins guitar
Matthew North guitar soundscape
Mike Westbrook keyboard
Billie Bottle bass guitar
Coach York drums
Recording Engineered, Mixed and Mastered by Matthew North
Produced by Matthew North in collaboration with Billie Bottle
October 2020
Recorded in Devonshire

Commissioned by Jazz South
IN 1973 the Duke Ellington Orchestra played their last British concert at the Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park. It was wondrous, particularly when Ellington called master-saxophonist Paul Gonsalves to play his serenely serpentine solo on Happy Reunion.
Says the Duke is the Westbrook salute to that concert, with Mike’s music played by the Granite Band. Kate’s vocals invoke Ellington’s great musicians and tune titles in a stream of Dukish consciousness and there are fine solos by alto saxophonist Roz Harding, guitarists Jesse Molins and Matthew North, with the powerful upsurge of Coach York’s drums and Billie Bottle’s bass guitar.
This is much, much more than musical nostalgia. The band summons “the ghosts of the Rainbow,” with Duke’s habitual farewell: “We love you madly.”

A tribute to one of the true musical geniuses of the 20th century.
Chris Searle - Morning Star
Mike Westbrook