Giacomo Gates: Summertime
Giacomo Gates (vocals)
Centerpiece (Origin 82428)
Composed by George Gershwin & DuBose Heyward. Arranged by Eddie Jefferson.
Recorded: Westport, Connecticut, no date given (CD released in 2004)
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
Giacomo Gates has a big baritone voice in the tradition of Billy Eckstine and Johnny Hartman, and with his rich, chocolaty tones, he could set up shop as a specialist in late-night ballads. But this is not that type of "Summertime." Instead, Gates has an endless supply of tricks at his disposal -- bits of banter, instrument imitations, vocalese, scatting, stories, sound effects; he even lets loose with a whistling solo on this track that will bring a smile to your face. He builds here on the classic Eddie Jefferson arrangement of the Gershwin standard, one of the more irreverent and spirited tributes to Porgy and Bess in the jazz pantheon. But this is not just another Jefferson Monument. Gates establishes his own distinctive voice and attitude. Ray Drummond's outstanding bass work is also worthy of note.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia