Gil Evans: Summertime

This is essentially a rearrangement of the score that Gil Evans wrote for Miles Davis's Porgy and Bess (1958). But Evans has updated it to the electric '70s, and assigned the lead to guitar to emphasize the blues tinge of Gershwin's song. Ted Dunbar's solo may not be the greatest ever taken on these familiar chords, but it's surrounded by a maze of details that widen the sound spectrum and bear Evans's mark, from the sweet jungle of cymbals and miscellaneous percussion to the daring contrast between tweeting flutes and roaring tubas.

January 27, 2008 · 0 comments

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Eddy Louiss and Michel Petrucciani: Summertime

Organ and piano duets are infrequent in jazz. But when it comes to musicians like Louiss and Petrucciani, the choice of the instrument is less relevant than the pleasure of the dialogue, and music flows so naturally from their fingers that it can almost be frightening. This is especially obvious on "Summertime," which has been played by almost everybody. Louiss's and Petrucciani's freshness and lack of over-sophistication return the song to its roots as a vehicle for improvisation. Moreover, in their hands these instruments make a gorgeous blend. Dialogue, pleasure, gorgeous blend these musicians wouldn't be French, by any chance?

January 27, 2008 · 0 comments

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