Miles Davis: There's a Boat That's Leaving Soon for New York


There's a Boat That's Leaving Soon for New York


Miles Davis (flugelhorn)


Porgy and Bess (Columbia/Legacy 712764)

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Miles Davis (flugelhorn), Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums),

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, clarinets), Danny Bank (alto flute, bass clarinet)


Composed by George Gershwin & Ira Gershwin. Arranged by Gil Evans


Recorded: New York, August 18, 1958


Rating: 97/100 (learn more)

Although this song is actually sung in the opera's penultimate scene, it makes a fine ending for the album. Clearly in a celebratory mood, Gil Evans begins with a quasi-New Orleans small band sound which breaks out to a roaring ensemble as Miles improvises away. Evans even ties things up by musically referencing "Gone," perhaps a sly joke since Bess has left Catfish Row by the end of the opera. Stereo allows us to hear trumpets and trombones on the right side of the listening stage, reeds and French horns on the left. On a note of excitement and triumph, both song and album end.

It should be mentioned that by the late 1950s, Gil Evans clearly had no use for the standard five-man sax section, and the only saxophonist on both this album and the previous year's Miles Ahead is an altoist, either Lee Konitz or Cannonball Adderley. The remaining reeds are three in number, mostly two flutes or clarinets and bass clarinet, but there are passages of three alto flutes, Danny Bank being lead.

It is well known that the Davis/Evans projects went over budget because of the difficulty of the music, hence the splicing mentioned in other reviews of tracks on this album. However, it is also true that all four of their albums (Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess, Sketches of Spain, Quiet Nights) have never gone out of print. Great art sometimes pays off well!

Reviewer: Jeff Sultanof

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