Rex Stewart / Stewart-Williams

Porgy and Bess Revisited

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This Swing LP, put out domestically by DRG in the 1980s, has rather unusual versions of 11 songs from Porgy & Bess. The two lead characters are played instrumentally by swing all-stars. Cornetist Rex Stewart portrays Sportin' Life, trumpeter Cootie Williams (who emerges as the main star) is Porgy, altoist Hilton Jefferson is Bess and trombonist Lawrence Brown is both Serena and Clara. Somehow it all works. Jim Timmens' arrangements for the big band keeps the momentum going, making this a surprisingly successful effort.