Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Recording Review: Jim Cullum Jazz Band with William Warfield - "George Gershwin's 'Porgy and Bess' Live"

Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Recording Review: Jim Cullum Jazz Band with William Warfield - "George Gershwin's 'Porgy and Bess' Live"

Article excerpt

Porgy and Bess Live

Jim Cullum Jazz Band with William Warfield

City Hall Jazz/Riverwalk Records Volume 10

Jim Cullum (cnt) Mike Pittsley (tb) Alan Vache (cl) John Sheridan (p) Howard Elkins (bjo, g) Don Mopsick (b) Ed Torres (d). William Warfield (narrator). 2015

CD 1: Jasbo Brown Blues/Summertime/A Woman Is A Sometime Thing /They Pass By Singin'/Oh, Little Stars/Gone, Gone. Gone/Overflow/My Man's Gone Now/Leavin' For The Promised Land/It Take A Long Pull To Get There/I Got Plenty O'Nuttin'/Buzzard Song/Bess, You Is My Woman Now/Oh I Can't Sit Down!

CD 2: I Ain't Got No Shame/It Ain't Necessarily So/What You Want Wid Bess?/Oh, Doctor Jesus/Strawberry Woman/Here Come De Honey Man/ Crab Man/I Loves You, Porgy/Oh, De Lawd Shake De Heavens/ Summertime/Oh, Dere's Somebody Knockin' At De Do'/Red Headed Woman/Clara, Clara/Summertime/There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York/Oh, Bess, Oh Where's My Bess?/Oh Lawd I'm On My Way/ backstage interview with William Warfield

This project is another in a fairly long line of Jazz treatments of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. As with the ones done by Rex Stewart and Cootie Williams in 1959, Bill Potts the same year and the more famous Miles Davis version of 1958, Cullum's tribute uses instruments to substitute for the voices. On this recording, the acting ability and sonorous voice of the late William Warfield are used to provide a linking narrative between the songs - indeed, this version adheres much more closely to the progress of the original than any other Jazz version.

The arrangements are credited to Sheridan, Vache, Cullum and band alumni Randy Reinhardt although unfortunately none are individually credited. Recorded at the band's regular gig at the Landing in San Antonio over the course of September, 1992, this set captures Cullum's group at a peak, coming at the end of Vache's seventeen-year tenure with the band. …

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