Miles Davis: Buzzard Song
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), 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 4, 1958
Rating: 97/100 (learn more)
Miles's and Gil's Porgy and Bess opens with a loud chord, proceeding to Miles's take on a song cut from the opera's original New York production in 1935; Evans no doubt learned it from Columbia Records' near-complete recording, released in 1951. But the track takes a left turn as it continues with a written bebop solo played by Barber and Chambers in unison, with brass as background. Only Gil Evans would have written such a solo to open an album of songs from a major theatre score, and the pairing of bass and tuba, not a very safe thing to do because of possible intonation problems, is near flawless here because of the virtuosity of the musicians themselves. This track also reminds us of the many musicians and arrangers who often said that Evans could notate excellent solos as if they were being improvised on the spot. The track is over before the listener realizes.
Reviewer: Jeff Sultanof