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The Essential George Gershwin

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Although there are a couple of pieces performed by George Gershwin himself, the rest of this two-CD, 41-track compilation, The Essential George Gershwin, is devoted to interpretations of his works. It's impressive in its stylistic and chronological sprawl, though inconsistent. Spanning 1925-2002 though most of it predates 1970, the performances include instrumental classical pieces; pop vocals by Frank Sinatra, Dinah Shore, Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney, Mel Torme, and Tony Bennett; and jazzier covers by Miles Davis, Ethel Waters, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Alberta Hunter, and Cab Calloway. There are a number of cuts by ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Although there are a couple of pieces performed by George Gershwin himself, the rest of this two-CD, 41-track compilation, The Essential George Gershwin, is devoted to interpretations of his works. It's impressive in its stylistic and chronological sprawl, though inconsistent. Spanning 1925-2002 though most of it predates 1970, the performances include instrumental classical pieces; pop vocals by Frank Sinatra, Dinah Shore, Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney, Mel Torme, and Tony Bennett; and jazzier covers by Miles Davis, Ethel Waters, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Alberta Hunter, and Cab Calloway. There are a number of cuts by artists more associated with the screen and stage than the recording studio, like Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. And there are some rather unusual items here, like the 1960 cover of "It Ain't Necessarily So" by Aretha Franklin; the "Third Movement Allegro Agitato," from "Concerto in F," with Oscar Levant on piano with the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York; and the whiter-than-white harmony pop of the Hi-Lo's on "Of Thee I Sing." Many of Gershwin's major compositions are represented, including "I Got Rhythm," "Summertime," "Nice Work If You Can Get It," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "I've Got a Crush on You," "I Loves You Porgy" seven of the selections are from Porgy and Bess, and "Rhapsody in Blue." If there are any drawbacks to this package, it's that with such a wide body of material that has been interpreted by so many artists in so many different ways, the final list is bound not to please everybody. As good as Aretha Franklin is, for instance, there have undoubtedly been better versions of "It Ain't Necessarily So," and as novel as the Hi-Lo's' arrangement of "Of Thee I Sing" is, it's so lightweight it treads the saccharine. Although the liner notes include a lot of original recording and release date information, it's unusually cagey in some respects. It doesn't include the label or format of release for numerous cuts. That leaves you to guess, though it's pretty obvious to many informed listeners, that much of this is, in fact, drawn from the Sony catalog: logical and convenient enough considering this is on Sony Classical/Legacy, but a condition that probably kept this retrospective from being as wide-ranging as it could have. Collectors might want to note the inclusion of four previously unreleased cuts: Benny Goodman's "Liza," Rosemary Clooney's "A Foggy Day," Fred Astaire's "They Can't Take That Away from Me," and Michael Feinstein's "Home Blues." It should be noted, though, that the version of "Rhapsody in Blue" with George Gershwin on piano combines his original 1925 recording with additional orchestration laid on in 1976, long after his death.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/14/2003
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 696998991323
  • Catalog Number: 89913
  • Sales rank: 45,218

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Prelude No. 2 for Piano (2:40)
  2. 2 I Got Rhythm (3:04)
  3. 3 Oh, Lady Be Good - Buck and Bubbles (3:30)
  4. 4 Summertime - Billie Holiday (2:56)
  5. 5 Nice Work If You Can Get It - Maxine Sullivan (2:51)
  6. 6 They Can't Take That Away from Me (Shall We Dance) - Johnny Green & His Orchestra (3:08)
  7. 7 Swanee - Warner Bros. Orchestra (1:34)
  8. 8 Liza (All the Clouds'll Roll Away) - Benny Goodman (3:01)
  9. 9 Someone to Watch over Me - Frank Sinatra (3:21)
  10. 10 'S Wonderful - Buddy Clark (2:37)
  11. 11 Do It Again - Jane Russell (3:17)
  12. 12 Soon - Percy Faith & His Orchestra (2:58)
  13. 13 Fascinating Rhythm /Someone to Watch Over Me - Morton Gould & His Orchestra (8:08)
  14. 14 The Man I Love (Lady Be Good) - Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra (3:07)
  15. 15 Let's Call the Whole Thing Off (Shall We Dance) - Johnny Green & His Orchestra (3:14)
  16. 16 Love Is Here to Stay - MGM Studio Orchestra (4:08)
  17. 17 How Long Has This Been Going On? (3:06)
  18. 18 Blues - Harry James & His Orchestra (4:12)
  19. 19 But Not for Me - Doris Day (2:38)
  20. 20 A Foggy Day - Frank DeVol & His Orchestra (2:53)
  21. 21 I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise [From George White's Scandals of 1922 - MGM Studio Orchestra (2:36)
  22. 22 Third Movement (Allegro Agitato) - Oscar Levant (6:25)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Of Thee I Sing Overture - Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (4:37)
  2. 2 They All Laughed - Tony Bennett (2:44)
  3. 3 Of Thee I Sing - Marty Paich Dektette (2:40)
  4. 4 Promenade (Walking the Dog) (2:56)
  5. 5 I've Got a Crush on You - Ella Fitzgerald (2:18)
  6. 6 Somebody Loves Me (2:55)
  7. 7 Love Walked In /Embraceable You (4:11)
  8. 8 Mine - Dick Hyman (2:58)
  9. 9 Isn't It a Pity - Mel Tormé (3:12)
  10. 10 Introduction and Jazzbo Brown - André Kostelanetz & His Orchestra (3:04)
  11. 11 It Ain't Necessarily So (3:09)
  12. 12 Bess, You Is My Woman Now (5:13)
  13. 13 I Loves You, Porgy - Miles Davis (3:41)
  14. 14 My Man's Gone Now - Sarah Vaughan & Her Trio (5:44)
  15. 15 There's a Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon for New York - Cab Calloway (2:18)
  16. 16 Who Cares? - The Ralph Sharon Trio (3:18)
  17. 17 Rhapsody in Blue (13:44)
  18. 18 Strike up the Band - André Kostelanetz & His Orchestra (2:43)
  19. 19 Home Blues (3:51)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
George Gershwin Primary Artist, Piano
André Kostelanetz Conductor
Michael Feinstein Piano, Vocals
Cannonball Adderley Alto Saxophone
Buster Bailey Cornet, Vocals
Bunny Berigan Trumpet
Buck Clayton Trumpet
Jimmy Cleveland Trombone
Johnny Coles Trumpet
Miles Davis Trumpet
Harry "Sweets" Edison Trumpet
Benny Goodman Clarinet
Freddie Green Guitar
Dick Hyman Piano
Budd Johnson Tenor Saxophone
Jo Jones Drums
Jonah Jones Trumpet
Red Norvo Vibes
Mel Powell Piano
André Previn Conductor
Jerome Richardson Clarinet, Flute
Artie Shaw Clarinet
Julius Watkins French Horn
Lester Young Tenor Saxophone
Joe Bushkin Piano
Cozy Cole Drums
Frank Rehak Trombone
Ernie Royal Trumpet
Joe Sullivan Piano
Oscar Levant Piano
Irving Joseph Piano
Joe Bennett Trombone
Mike Bryan Guitar
Jimmy Cobb Drums
Willie Ruff French Horn
Walter Page String Bass
Danny Bank Bass Clarinet, Alto Flute
Lou Bring Conductor
Red Callender Bass
Paul Chambers Bass
Doc Cheatham Trumpet
Vic Dickenson Trombone
Gil Evans Conductor
Morey Feld Drums
Bernie Glow Trumpet
Jeffrey D. Harris Piano
Harry Zimmerman Conductor
Milt Hinton Bass
Norm Jeffries Drums
Ellis Larkins Piano
Jay Leonhart Acoustic Bass
Robert Mersey Conductor
Butch Miles Drums
Louis Mucci Trumpet
Romeo Penque Clarinet, Flute
Gunther Schuller French Horn
Axel Stordahl Conductor
Michael Tilson Thomas Conductor
Earle Warren Alto Saxophone
Jack Washington Alto Saxophone
Paul Weston Conductor
Vishnu Wood Bass
Torrie Zito Conductor
Dick Hixon Trombone
Dick McDonough Guitar
Eric Cohen Drums
Gerald Cook Piano
John Green Conductor
Pete Peterson String Bass
Leo F. Forbstein Conductor
Buck and Bubbles Track Performer
Technical Credits
George Gershwin Composer
Claude Thornhill Director
Ray Heindorf Arranger
Irving Caesar Composer
Buddy DeSylva Composer
Gil Evans Arranger
Ira Gershwin Composer
Jeffrey D. Harris Arranger
Gus Kahn Composer
Brian King Engineer
Ballard MacDonald Composer
Mike Renzi Arranger
Don Rose Arranger
Eddie Sauter Composer
Axel Stordahl Arranger
Diane Warren Liner Notes
Howard Fritzson Art Direction
Darcy Proper Mastering
Tim Page Liner Notes
DuBose Heyward Composer
Stacey Boyle Tape Research
Triana DOrazio Packaging Manager
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    'S Wonderful

    The glory of this CD is two-fold, first is the inimitable music of George Gershwin, second is the wide array of performers featured including Gershwin himself. From Fred Astaire singing "Let's Call the Whole Tbing Off" to Oscar Levant playing the "Third Movement" to Cab Calloway seducing us to get on "the Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon for New York", this is an outstanding collection of Gershwin music. Every lover of the American song and George Gershwin's music needs to own this CD.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews