CL 1274 - Mono - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - Pressed at RTI
Mastered by Kevin Gray at Acoustech Mastering
On their second conceptual album together, Miles Davis and arranger Gil Evans offered up a profound reinterpretation of George Gershwin's famed opera Porgy and Bess. A landmark release in orchestral jazz and arguably the best of their many collaborations, Evans’ adaptation of Gershwin’s score here is a veritable tour de force and although the outing features strong performances from Cannonball Adderley (alto sax), Paul Chambers (bass) and Jimmy Cobb (drums), Davis' poignant trumpet playing is the unequivocal star.
Transcendent material like "Summertime" and "I Love You Porgy" display the true beauty of Miles Davis and Gil Evans' collective genius, their ability to reach the listener on not only a musical level but an emotional one as well.
Tomes are available annotating the importance of this recording. The musical and social impact of Miles Davis, his collaborative efforts with Gil Evans, and in particular their reinvention of George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess are indeed profound. However, the most efficient method of extricating the rhetoric and opining is to experience the recording. Few other musical teams would have had the ability to remain true to the undiluted spirit and multifaceted nuance of this epic work. However, no other musical teams were Miles Davis and Gil Evans. It was Evans' intimate knowledge of the composition as well as the performer that allowed him to so definitively capture the essence of both.
The four dates needed to complete work on Porgy and Bess include contributions from several members of his most recent musical aggregate: Julian "Cannonball" Adderley (alto sax), Paul Chambers (bass), and Jimmy Cobb (drums). Although the focus and emphasis is squarely on Davis throughout, the contributions of the quartet on "Prayer (Oh Doctor Jesus)," "I Loves You, Porgy," and "There's a Boat That's Leaving Soon for New York" are immeasurable. They provide a delicate balance in style and, under the direction of Evans, incorporate much of the same energy and intonation here as they did to their post-bop recordings. There is infinitely more happening on Porgy and Bess, however, with much of the evidence existing in the subtle significance of the hauntingly lyrical passages from Danny Banks' (alto flute) solos, which commence on "Fishermen, Strawberry and Devil Crab." Or the emotive bass and tuba duet that runs throughout "Buzzard Song."
. No observation or collection of American jazz can be deemed complete without this recording.
Miles Davis, trumpet, flugelhorn
Ernie Royal, Bernie Glow, Johnny Coles and Louis Mucci, trumpet
Dick Hixson, Frank Rehak, Jimmy Cleveland and Joe Bennett, trombone
Willie Ruff, Julius Watkins and Gunther Schuller, horn
Bill Barber, tuba
Phil Bodner, Jerome Richardson and Romeo Penque, flute, alto flute & clarinet
Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, alto saxophone
Danny Bank, alto flute & bass clarinet
Paul Chambers, bass
Jimmy Cobb, drums
Philly Joe Jones, drums
Gil Evans, arranger & conductor
1. The Buzzard Song
2. Bess, You Is My Woman Now
4. Gone, Gone, Gone
6. Bess, Oh, Where's My Bess
7. Prayer (Oh, Doctor Jesus)
8. Fishermen, Strawberry and Devil Crab
9. My Man's Gone Now
10. It Ain't Necessarily So
11. Here Come De Honey Man
12. I Loves You, Porgy
13. There's A Boat That's Leaving Soon For New York
Recorded in New York, July-August, 1958
RTI HQ-180 Vinyl
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