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Miles Davis Porgy and Bess on Numbered
Strictly Limited to 4,000 Numbered Copies!
180g 45RPM 2LP from Mobile Fidelity!
Mastered From Original Master Tapes & Pressed at RTI!
Miles Davis and Gil Evans' Porgy and Bess Is a Landmark of Arrangement,
Performance, and Emotion: 1959 Adaptation of George Gershwin Opera Advances Jazz
Idioms and Modal Playing
180g 45RPM 2LP Set Features Reference-Level Tonality, Depth, and Openness
If a more significant, influential, and lasting result of a creative musical
partnership exists than that of Miles Davis and Gil Evans' Porgy and Bess,
society hasn't seen it. It's impossible to overstate the importance of the
pair's collaboration on the landmark 1959 update of George Gershwin's opera.
Transcending genre, time, and place, the profound statement finds Evans and
Davis implementing modal approaches in a mainstream context and advancing jazz
idioms that would become the foundation of the form's still-classic era. And
that's saying nothing of the soulful playing legendary performances by Davis'
first great quintet that can now be heard in pristine detail courtesy of this
definitive analog edition.
Mastered from the original tapes, pressed at RTI, and strictly limited to 4,000
numbered copies, Porgy and Bess attains previously unheard degrees of clarity,
openness, immediacy, and depth on Mobile Fidelity's 180g 45RPM 2LP set. Here,
the arrangements unfold amidst practically limitless soundstages and burst with
multi-dimensional images. Separation between instruments allows you to locate
individual band members and trace the decay of the notes. Davis' iconic solo
passages take on borderline-surreal qualities of realism and shape. The
magisterial scope of the Evans-conducted orchestra emerges with room-filling
bloom, color, and dynamics.
While difficult to pinpoint its single-best strength, Mobile Fidelity's reissue
gives reference-level credence to what may remain the album's most crucial
aspect: tone. Based not on chords but on scales and feeling, Porgy and Bess
teems with emotions and possibilities characteristics conveyed by the nuances,
timbre, and temper delivered by the array of horns, woodwinds, basses, and
percussion involved. Whether the combination of Bill Barber's tuba in unison
with Paul Chambers' bass during "Buzzard Song," Davis' improvisational flights
on "It Ain't Necessarily So," or the doubling up on alto flutes on several
compositions, never before have they been experienced with such richness,
roundness, and palpability.
Just as identifying singular sonic highlights proves virtually unfeasible, so
does underlining which songs feature the most memorable exchanges, melodies, and
scoring. Davis and Evans' adaptation of Porgy and Bess remains of a piece, an
American touchstone, a recording that immediately separated itself from the
multiple other versions released during the same period and continues to make
waves decades after its creation, assuming a place in the historical canon
alongside collaborative masterworks by Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn and Frank
Defined by Davis biographer Jack Chambers as "a new score, with its own
integrity, order, and action," Porgy and Bess has been identified by nearly
every major outlet and expert as a must-have album. Davis' phrasing alone
cements the effort with a genius quality. As Brian Cook and Richard Morton
explain in The Penguin Guide to Jazz: "Prayer' is an astounding tour de force,
harmonically suspended, and with Miles' most extraordinarily recorded solo to
date punctuated by agonized screams and shouts, whether of affirmation or
suffering it isn't easy to judge. Miles was not in good physical condition
during the making of the record, which perhaps explains the twisting intensity,
the bent notes and slurs which seem to express some inner pain." Then there's
the immortal rendition of "Summertime," the epitome of calm, understatement, and
At once sweet and spiritual, sure and steady, graceful and exuberant, happy and
poignant, Porgy and Bess is a phenomenal jazz dance that has never been equaled
and likely, never will. Hear it as Davis, Evans, and company intended.
• Numbered, Limited Edition
• Strictly Limited to 4,000 Numbered Copies
• 180g 2LP
• Production and Mastering by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
• Specially Plated and Pressed on 180 grams of High Definition Vinyl
• Special Static Free - Dust Free Inner Sleeve
• Heavy Duty Protective Packaging
• Mastered From Original Master Tapes
• Pressed at RTI
1. The Buzzard Song
2. Bess, You is My Woman Now
4. Gone, Gone, Gone
6. Oh Bess, Where's My Bess?
7. Prayer (Oh Doctor Jesus)
8. Fisherman, Strawberry and Devil Crab
9. My Man's Gone Now
10. It Ain't Necessarily So
11. Here Come de Honey man
12. I Wants To Stay Here (a.k.a. I Loves You, Porgy)
13. There's A Boat That's Leaving Soon For New York