Aki Takase's phenomenal technique and her talent for improvisation is well known, as is her love for the jazz classics. She has already paid tribute to Fats Waller and recorded with saxophonist Silke Eberhard an "Ornette Coleman Anthology". Now she takes a close look at the arguably most influential jazz pianist of the jazz tradition: Duke Ellington.
Aki Takase examines Ellington's playing from numerous angles throughout the album and within each track. Rather than quote or paraphrase Ellington compositions to contextualize this idea, Takase concentrates on the building blocks of his piano vocabulary – the articulations, voicings and devices that convey colors and fragrances. As a result, she sets a wealth of stylistic markers afloat, untethered to an Ellington composition, where they can be heard anew. Bill Shoemaker writes in the liner notes: "What cannot be overstated is Takase's depth of feeling here and throughout My Ellington; it is something rare and profound."