Artie Shaw plays Gershwin
With this week's focus on summer at Word & Song, I determined to share with you "Summertime," written by the great American composer, George Gershwin, for his opera, Porgy & Bess. When this song comes to my mind, I of course think of it as a vocal, and obviously that is how Gershwin conceived it. But in researching the music I ran across the most sublime instrumental jazz/swing version of the song by the big band of Artie Shaw. George Gershwin was a musical genius of the highest order, and listening to the instrumental alone allows you to focus on the composition, apart from the lyrics, excellent though they are and perfect for Porgy & Bess.
As you listen to Artie Shaw and his Orchestra's flawless performance of an amazing song, one which some consider the greatest written in the Twentieth Century in America, notice the "voices" of the four instruments which play the melody in turn. The first two, featuring Artie Shaw's remarkable clarinet and Roy "Little Jazz" Eldridge's positi…
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