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Paul Keller says, "Four CDs, 13 years, 650 Monday nights at the Bird of Paradise Jazz Club in Ann Arbor, Michigan (that's a lot of setting up and tearing down), plenty of performances at local jazz festivals and special concerts all over Michigan, the formation of BOPO Records, a European tour in 2000 and another one in 2001. We've gone farther than I ever dreamed! The Bird of Paradise Orchestra has done some pretty amazing things. We are a great team with a terrific spirit. Speaking as their leader, I am grateful to each of the cats who contribute so much and make the Bird of Paradise Orchestra a very special big band. Our composers and arrangers deserve special recognition. Their arrangements are beautiful and help keep Monday nights at the Bird fun, challenging and interesting for the audience and the band members.
"Just like a Monday night at the Bird, this CD is an eclectic program of big band music from the 1930s to the present. The BOPO has a special affinity with the music of Duke Ellington and this recording features four of the great maestro's songs.
"PARIS BLUES is a sultry Ellington tune expertly arranged for the BOPO by our tenor saxophonist Andrew Bishop. We love playing PARIS BLUES and performed it on our 2000 trip to Spain. The audiences went nuts for Andrew's arrangement. When we learned that the BOPO was going back to Spain in 2001, as well as Switzerland and France, winding up our tour with two days in Paris, it became clear that the title of our new CD should be PARIS BLUES."