Chris Washburne And The SYOTOS Band, 'Stairway To Heaven'

Apr 20, 2015
Originally published on July 8, 2015 10:21 am

This crazy, clever cover medley spans an entire musical universe, as it superimposes one of Duke Ellington's sacred works (1968's "Heaven") over Led Zeppelin's 1971 rock classic "Stairway To Heaven." Trombonist Chris Washburne and his mighty See You On The Other Side miniature big band have released an album of inspired Latin jazz instrumental covers; titled Low Ridin', it touches on '70s-era rock songs by the likes of Neil Young, The Doors, Lou Reed and Jimi Hendrix.

I've always been moved by the emotion of Ellington's music, so I had to pull the car over and listen closely the first time I heard this unlikely pairing, which brings out the inspired devotion in the melody beneath Jimmy Page's bombastic chord progressions. The entire album works, but this track is a high-water mark for a great Latin jazz vet.

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