Porgy and Bess

Oscar Peterson

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Porgy and Bess Review

by Scott Yanow

This is a strange duet album from Pablo. For a set of ten melodies taken from George Gershwin's famous Porgy and Bess, Joe Pass sticks to acoustic guitar while the great pianist Oscar Peterson for the first and only time in his career records exclusively on the clavichord, an instrument from the 1600s that preceded the piano. The clavichord comes across as a mix between a harpsichord and a primitive stringed instrument, and apparently, it cannot be played all that fast. The results are novel at first but rather limited on the whole, making one wonder whose bright idea this was.

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