Miles Davis: Summertime
Miles Davis (trumpet)
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), Jerome Richardson, Romeo Penque (flutes), Danny Bank (bass clarinet).
Composed by George Gershwin & DuBose Heyward. Arranged by Gil Evans.
Recorded: New York, August 18, 1958
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
One of the many wonders in the Miles Davis/Gil Evans album of Porgy and Bess is how Evans was able to remain faithful to the spirit of Gershwin's opera without using the original orchestrations. There is no better example than "Summertime." As originally presented in the opera, "Summertime" is a lullaby (a fact seemingly forgotten in the full-voiced performances of certain divas). Gil uses a gently swinging riff that easily adapts to the harmonic changes of the song, while in front Miles plays a solo that strays off the melody more than you think, but always stays connected with the contour of the original tune. And it's all so quiet! Even when Miles builds the intensity of his solo, he never loses sight of the overall context.
Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe