We Speak Duke – Jerome Wilson, CadenceMagazine


We Speak Duke goes back to the big band era to delve into the well-examined canon of Duke Ellington. Linda Tate has pretty, velvety voice that sounds like it was made to navigate Ellington’s subtle melodies. She is backed by Bradley Williams’ 21 st Century Review which does a good job of capturing the Duke’s elegance with an expertly arranged blend of just four horns and judicious use of flute and soprano sax. Tate is fine singing on her own but she has a couple of encounters with the Review’s regular singers to form a hip vocal chorus and she has a great scat duet with Joanie Pallatto on “In a Mellow Tone.” “Crazy Walk” is a fun look back at Ellington’s nightclub review work and “We Speak Duke” is a poem written by Tate recited beat club-style over a free falling saxophone and drum backing. This is a lot more than nostalgia. This is a tribute that really shines and sounds as ineffably cool as Mr. Ellington himself.

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