Jim Cullum Jazz Band

Porgy & Bess

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Unlike most adaptations of Porgy & Bess that stick to the "greatest hits" from George Gershwin's folk opera, this extensive rendition by Jim Cullum's Jazz Band (a septet featuring the cornetist-leader, either Randy Reinhart or Ed Hubble on trombone, clarinetist Allan Vache and pianist John Sheridan) has nearly every bit of music that appears in the play, 22 themes in all. Such obscure numbers as "They Pass by Singin'," "It Take a Long Pull to Get There" and "Oh, Dere's Somebody Knockin' at De Do'" are interpreted in the same order as they originally were sung in the show along with "Summertime," "I Got Plenty of Nuttin'," "It Ain't Necessarily So" and "I Loves You Porgy." Jim Cullum (and his main arranger Sheridan) strike a balance on this CD between paying respect for Gershwin's melodies and allowing the musicians to come up with fresh variations. A very successful effort that is most highly recommended to fans of the folk opera.