Brace yourself---1998 marks George Gershwin's centennial year and record shelves are sure to be stuffed with "tribute" albums from a variety of artists. Herbie Hancock, whose career is noted for its wide-ranging eclecticism, continues this trend with this salute to the composer. While the bulk of the repertoire are Gershwin originals, Herbie has also included four tunes that were written by George's closest fellow musicians. Hancock, working within settings that range from solo piano to full-fledged orchestras, has enlisted the aid of a number of "special guests" to enhance this recording. Contemporary saxophonists Kenny Garrett and James Carter romp through It Ain't Necessarily So, old friend Wayne Shorter takes a turn on The Man I Love, Summertime and Cotton Tail, while R&B master Stevie Wonder adds his vocal and harmonica talents to St. Louis Blues. Gershwin's World is an ambitious, reverential project that pays serious homage to one of the great tunesmiths of the 20th. century. (***)
Track Listing: Overture (Fascinating Rhythm), It Ain't Necessarily So, The Man I Love, Here Come De Honey Man, St. Louis Blues, Lullaby, Blueberry Rhyme, It Ain't Necessarily So (Interlude), Cotton Tail, Summertime, My Man's Gone, Prelude in C# Minor, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in G, 2nd Movement (Maurice Ravel), Embraceable You.
Personnel: Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea: Piano; Madou Dembelle: Djembe; Massamba Diop: Talking Drum; Cryo Baptista, Bireyma Guiye, Cheik Mbaye: Percussion; Eddie Henderson: Trumpet; Kenny Garrett: Alto Saxophone; James Carter: Tenor and Soprano Saxophones, Wayne Shorter: Tenor Saxophone; Bakithi Kumalo: Bass and Guitar; Ira Coleman: Bass; Terri-Lynn Carrington: Drums, Marlon Graves: Guitar, Robert Sadin: Percussion Programming; Stevie Wonder: Harmonica and Vocals; Charles Curtis: Cello, The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Kathleen Battle: Vocals, Joni Mitchell: Vocals.
Title: Gershwin's World
| Year Released: 1998
| Record Label: Verve Music Group