Miles Davis: It Ain't Necessarily So
It Ain't Necessarily So
Miles Davis (flugelhorn)
Porgy and Bess (Columbia/Legacy 712764)
Johnny Coles, Bernie Glow, Ernie Royal, Louis Mucci (trumpets), Joe Bennett, Frank Rehak, Jimmy Cleveland Dick Hixson (trombones), Willie Ruff, Julius Watkins, Gunther Schuller (French horns), Bill Barber (tuba), Cannonball Adderley (alto sax), Phil Bodner, Romeo Penque (flutes), Danny Bank (bass clarinet).
Composed by George Gershwin & Ira Gershwin. Arranged by Gil Evans.
Rating: 97/100 (learn more)
The wistful, longing intro by Davis, cleverly utilizing the opening melodic line from "I Got Plenty of Nothin'," could just as easily have been attached to the end of the previous melancholy track, "My Man's Gone Now." It builds to a gradual crescendo before a blast from the brass that initiates Miles's improvisation on "It Ain't Necessarily So," underscored by Jimmy Cobb's kicking drumbeat. Miles then plays the theme, only to quickly enter phase two of his solo. His attack is aggressive and deadly serious, not at all jocular or lighthearted, a far cry from the tone of Sportin' Life's skeptical assessment of religion, the basis of this selection in Gershwin's opera. Miles seems to be affirming that life is, after all, very hard in Catfish Row. Evans's arrangement here is one of his sparsest, allowing Miles the spotlight except for occasional short, assertive interjections from the trumpet section. Miles ends the piece with one kissed, insolent little note, his only real acknowledgment of the cocky Sportin' Life.
Reviewer: Scott Albin