The complete classic album Porgy and Bess by Miles Davis with the Gil Evans orchestra - plus, as a bonus, four extra tracks featuring Miles playing Gershwin tunes with jazz giants such as Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk and Milt Jackson.
Porgy and Bess was Miles Davis and Gil Evans second conceptual album (they had worked together back in the late 1940s on the celebrated Birth of the Cool nonet sessions and would record their first conceptual LP Miles Ahead in 1957).
01. The Buzzard Song (4:07)
02. Bess, You Is My Woman Now (5:11)
03. Gone (3:38)
04. Gone, Gone, Gone (2:03)
05. Summertime (3:18)
06. Bess, Oh, Wheres My Bess (4:27)
07. Prayer (Oh, Doctor Jesus) (4:40)
08. Fishermen, Strawberry and Devil Crab (4:06)
09. My Mans Gone Now (6:12)
10. It Aint Necessarily So (4:23)
11. Here Come De Honey Man (1:12)
12. I Loves You, Porgy (4:06)
13. Theres a Boat Thats Leavingsoon For New York 3:24
14. But not for Me [Take 1] (5:45)*
15. But not for Me [Take 2] (4:35)*
16. The Man I Love [Take 1] (8:07)*
17. The Man I Love [Take 2] (7:56)*
Total time: 77:18 min.
Tracks #1-13 originally issued as Columbia CS 8085.
Personnel: Miles Davis (tp, flh) with Orchestra under the direction of Gil Evans, featuring Johnny Coles, Bernie Glow, Ernie Royal, Louis Mucci (tp), Joe Bennett, Frank Rehak, Jimmy Cleveland, Dick Hixson (tb), Willie Ruff, Julius Watkins, Gunther Schuller (fhr), Bul Barber (tuba), Phil Bodner or Jerome Richardson, Romeo Penque (fl, cl), Danny Bank (bcl, fl), Julian "Cannonball" Adderley (as), Paul Chambers (b), Philly Joe Jones or Jimmy Cobb (d), Gil Evans (arr, cond). Recorded in New York, between July & August, 1958.
(*) Tracks #14-17, are bonus tracks taken from
"Miles Davis - Bags' Groove" (Prestige PRLP 7109)
Personnel on tracks #14-15: Miles Davis (tp), Sonny Rollins (ts), Horace Silver (p), Percy Heath (b) and Kenny Clarke (d). Recorded by Rudy Van Gelder in Hackensack, New Jersey, on June 29, 1954.
Personnel on tracks #16-17: Miles Davis (tp), Milt Jackson (vib), Thelonious Monk (p), Percy Heath (b) and Kenny Clarke (d). Recorded by Rudy Van Gelder in Hackensack, New Jersey, on December 24, 1954.
"The inherent pensiveness of Gil Evans' writing and the introversion of"; Miles Davis' playing produce something akin to a gas flame turned as low as it can be without going out. Its heat is quiet, but very intense. The Davis-Evans relationship has again produced superb music."
Gene Lees -Down Beat, 1958
"Tomes are available annotating the importance of this recording. The musical and social impact of Miles Davis, his collaborative efforts with Gil Evans, and in particular their reinvention of George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess are indeed profound. However, the most efficient method of extricating the rhetoric and opining is to experience the recording. Few other musical teams would have had the ability to remain true to the undiluted spirit and multifaceted nuance of this epic work. However, no other musical teams were Miles Davis and Gil Evans. It was Evans' intimate knowledge of the composition as well as the performer that allowed him to so definitively capture the essence of both. The four dates needed to complete work on Porgy and Bess include contributions from several members of his most recent musical aggregate: Julian "Cannonball" Adderley (alto sax), Paul Chambers (bass), and Jimmy Cobb (drums). Although the focus and emphasis is squarely on Davis throughout, the contributions of the quartet on "Prayer (Oh Doctor Jesus)," "I Loves You, Porgy," and "There's a Boat That's Leaving Soon for New York" are immeasurable. They provide a delicate balance in style and, under the direction of Evans, incorporate much of the same energy and intonation here as they did to their post-bop recordings.
There is infinitely more happening on Porgy and Bess, however, with much of the evidence existing in the subtle significance of the hauntingly lyrical passages from Danny Banks' (alto flute) solos, which commence on "Fishermen, Strawberry and Devil Crab." Or the emotive bass and tuba duet that runs throughout "Buzzard Song." The impeccable digital remastering and subsequent CD reissue only magnifies the refulgence of Porgy and Bess. No observation or collection of American jazz can be deemed complete without this recording."
Lindsay Planer -All Music Guide