Bill Potts, The Jazz Soul of Porgy & Bess (Fresh Sound)
In jazz, 1959 was a watershed, milestone, landmark (choose your cliché). Clichés embody truths; that’s how they become clichés. The truth is that this all-star recording of Porgy & Bess was one of the most important of the final year in a golden decade of jazz in New York. Potts’s arrangements are his most celebrated, for good reason. There is passion and commitment in the playing of the 19-piece ensemble and in solos by Art Farmer, Bill Evans, Phil Woods, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Harry Edison, Gene Quill, Bob Brookmeyer and Rod Levitt, among others. Remastering and CD packaging are consistent with the quality of the music.