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Clark Terry

Porgy & Bess


(Americana Music 9002)

Buzzard Song Bess, You Is My Woman Now Gone Gone, Gone, Gone Summertime Bess, Oh Where's My Bess? Prayer (Oh, Doctor Jesus) Fisherman, Strawberry and Crab  My Man's Gone Now It Ain't Necessarily So Here Come De Honey Man I Loves You Porgy There's a Boat That's leaving Soon For New York (54.14)

Terry (t, flh, vocal on Honey Man); with The Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Jeff Lindberg (cond.): (collectively) Danny Barber, Kirk Garrison, Doug Scharf, Art Davis, Art Hoyle; Brent Turney (t); Scott Bentall, Tim Coffman, Andrew Baker (tb); Michael Young (btb); Greg Flint, Neil Kimel, Angela De Boer; Christine Worthing (Frh);
John Wojciechowski (as); Larry Combs, Randy Salman (cl, bcl); William Overton, Jerry Di Muzio (bcl, af); Darlene Drew (af, picf); Kimberly Risinger (bf, f); Daniel Anderson (bb); Dennis Carroll, Rob Kassinger (b); George Fludas (d); Gil Evans (arr., except I Loves You, Porgy): Charles Harrison, III (arr. I Loves You, Porgy only), Evanston, Illinois, November 10,11,2003, February 23,2004 and NYC, December 18,19,30,2003 (Americana Music 9002)

Stupendous. I would never have believed that anyone could recreate the old original Gil Evans/Miles Davis masterpiece and make me say that, but I was filled with wonder and admiration just as soon as I heard the first few bars of this beautiful recording.

The interpretation of this music by the Chicago Jazz Orchestra has been done with deep feeling, much love and understanding. The scores are the same, exactly so, Gil Evans note for note, but they somehow play them differently, softer, with more presence—and there is, of course, a notable improvement in the sound over the old recording due to the advances in recording technique.

There's the most lyrical tuba player on there, in danger of stealing the show every time he plays, but, hand on heart, who could ever get more lyrical than Clark? Like a bird he soars, he swoops, he whispers, with all the little bends and slides we love so well. On these recordings he is tireless, magnificent, soulful and he'll be 84 in December. Think about that.

There are sounds here that are going to haunt my days and nights for a very long time.

Ron Simmonds

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