Gil Evans' historic arrangement of excerpts from George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess folk opera became one of the most important records ever released by trumpeter Miles Davis. But no one else revisited this score until it was transcribed by Jeff Lindberg, (along with Charles Harrison III) for this release featuring guest Clark Terry (who celebrated his 83rd birthday between the recording sessions) with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, conducted by Lindberg. Not only was Terry an early influence on the young Davis, but he is a far more expressive trumpeter who doubles on flügelhorn, while also possessing a fatter tone, greater range, and more personality on his instruments, though this CD was not intended to eclipse the earlier achievement of Davis. Terry's flügelhorn beautifully projects the emotion of Porgy in the soulful "Bess, You Is My Woman Now," while capturing the pain of Bess in the plaintive "My Man's Gone Now." Terry's touch of humor is displayed in "Fisherman, Strawberry and Devil Crab" and the saucy "It Ain't Necessarily So." He switches to muted trumpet for the lightly swinging "Summertime." Terry's vocals, always a favorite of his fans, are heard in the brief rendition of "Here Come de Honey Man," complete with the usual jocular asides typical when Terry sings. The CD is wrapped with the boisterous celebration "There's a Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon for New York." Throughout the sessions, the orchestra provides superb accompaniment for its special guest, while Art Hoyle joins Terry as a second flügelhorn soloist for the one original by Evans, "Gone." This is a very fitting salute to the earlier album by Miles Davis and Gil Evans which easily exceeds the expectations of typical re-creations of historic sessions.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden