Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Clark Terry Reinterprets Porgy & Bess

Gil Evans’ classic arrangements of Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess have received a fresh interpretation courtesy of trumpeter Clark Terry (pictured) with Jeff Lindberg and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra (CJO).

Available now from the Americana label, Porgy & Bess marks the first rendition of the score by a top-shelf jazzer since Miles Davis’ definitive 1958 recording. CJO conductor Jeff Lindberg, whose orchestra appears behind Terry on the 12 classic Gershwin melodies, transcribed Evans’ charts for performance along with an inspired performance of “Gone,” the only original Evans composition included on the Davis recording. Appearing alongside Terry on the cut in spirited interplay is fellow flugelhorn player Art Hoyle. CJO alto sax player John Wojciechowski is featured during an interlude on the standard “I Loves You, Porgy” and a tuba solo from Dan Anderson marks the opener “Buzzard Song.”

The brooding lyricism of Davis’ muted trumpet is replaced by his St. Louis mentor’s animated improvisations throughout the sessions, providing new alternatives to Davis’ revered renditions.

Porgy & Bess is the first of two very recent Terry releases, the second being the Vivacom label’s Chilled and Remixed, a double-CD set featuring one collection of soulful standard interpretations that receive DJ remixing on a second disc.

Currently enjoying its 26th year, The Chicago Jazz Orchestra’s performances have ranged from those in Italy, Spain, and Denmark, to 15 consecutive annual performances at the Kennedy Center Honors. In addition, the band’s high profile in the Chicago area has allowed them to perform behind lauded guests including Kenny Burrell, Herbie Hancock, Nancy Wilson, and Dizzy Gillespie.

For more information on Porgy & Bess, Clark Terry, and the CJO, visit the following Web sites:, and

Porgy & Bess track list:

1. Buzzard Song 4:06

2. Bess, You Is My Woman Now 5:23

3. Gone 4:53

4. Gone, Gone, Gone 2:16

5. Summertime 3:19

6. Bess, Oh Where’s My Bess? 4:32

7. Prayer (Oh Doctor Jesus) 5:03

8. Fisherman, Strawberry and Devil Crab 4:14

9. My Man’s Gone Now 6:15

10. It Ain’t Necessarily So 4:27

11. Here Come de Honey Man 1:43

12. I Loves You, Porgy 4:33

13. There’s a Boat Dat’s Leavin’ Soon for New York 3:20

Originally Published