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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby




Crotchet

PAOLO FRESU

Kind of Porgy and Bess

RCA-VICTOR 74321951952

 

 

 

Paolo Fresu – Trumpet

Nguyê Lê – Guitars

Antonello Salis – Fender Rhodes, Acoustic Piano, Fisarmonica

Furio Di Castri – Acoustic & Electric bass

Roberto Gatto – Drums

Dhafer Youssef – Voice & Oud

1

The Buzzard Song

8

Summertime

2

Fishermen, Strawberry & Devil Crab

9

Oh, Doctor Jesus – Oh De Lawd Shake De Heavens

3

Gone, Gone, Gone

10

Clara, Clara, Don’t You Be Downhearted

4

My Man’s Gone Now

11

Oh Bess, Oh Where’s My Bess?

5

I Loves You, Porgy

12

Lo, Bess Goin’ To The Picnic?

6

What You Want Wid Bess?

13

I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’

7

Bess, You Is My Woman Now

   

 

Ever since hearing the Miles Davis and Gil Evans 1958 recording of George and Ira Gershwin’s ‘Porgy and Bess,’ the internationally known trumpeter Paolo Fresu planned someday to arrange his own interpretation of that historic work. This he did last year with ‘Kind of Porgy and Bess’ and his influences were not confined just to Miles’ work. In his notes he also mentions listening to pieces of the same opera performed by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. Whereas Evans used a nineteen-piece orchestra here we have only a sextet and to complete his version Fresu has also included parts of the original that are completely new to the jazz repertoire.

It is a bold venture and takes considerable experience to make something new and appealing out of the twentieth century classic opera and that is why very few have attempted it. Most tracks are successful and two that appealed were The Buzzard Song and the very plaintive I Loves You, Porgy.

This is contemporary music, well performed, by talented musicians. It will no doubt attract considerable interest. Overall, Paolo Fresu has in his interpretation given credit to the original work. The influence Miles Davis has had on his career is very evident but at the same time refreshing to listen to. This is the first time I have heard these musicians and I thoroughly enjoyed their work.

Jack Ashby



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