Andrei Strizek

Music | Musings

Filtering by Tag: Porgy & Bess

The Honey Men Cometh

I've enjoyed a lot of @MMmusing's videos he's posted to YouTube. I sent out a friendly challenge the other day for a mash-up of John Adams Nixon in China and China Gates, which was responded with a mash-up of Sleigh Ride and Short Ride in a Fast Machine (I love his animation!).

My first attempt at this is a combination of Gil Evans'/Miles Davis' version of Here Come de Honey Man combined with the original operatic version (here taken from the 1989 Sir Simon Rattle recording). It's short - less a minute - but it's a start!

They're both in the same key, which made this easy, and the Evans version is about twice as long as the original (there's a fade out on the Evans/Davis album). Is the hypnotic feeling of the Evans version recreated here, or is it just more chaotic?

Check out more of @MMmusing's videos on his YouTube page and read his blog. You also need to watch his "12 Composers of Christmas" - it's great! (And pass it on so it hits 10,000 views this season.)

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Prayer - Gershwin vis a vis Evans & Davis

My final paper for my Gerswhin class is about Gil Evans' arrangement of Porgy and Bess, and the famous Miles Davis album of the same title. As part of the paper - and partly because I find it to be such a moving piece - I transcribed Miles' solo on "Prayer (Oh, Doctor Jesus)". (For more visit /blog)
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Gershwin & the Clave

A few weeks ago I wrote about the 3-2 Clave pattern and how it appears in a recent Justin Bieber hit, as well as many other musics. In my Gershwin class today I heard it again:

The beginning of Act III, Scene 3 of Porgy & Bess (the final scene).

It's a little different, using quarter-note triplets instead of the typical 3-note figure, but the effect is the same.

The excerpt has many examples of the 3-2 clave pattern, and the score below starts about the 55 second mark. It's interesting that Gershwin used this, not because he wasn't familiar with Latin or Spanish music (see: Cuban Overture), but that so much of the Porgy & Bess score is based on a well-crafted blend of blues, jazz, spiritual, modernist music (for the 1930s) and European opera - but to my knowledge this is the only Latin-influenced part in the opera.

Nina Simone - I Loves You Porgy

My Gershwin class today was student presentations on the first 3 scenes of Act II of Porgy & Bess. The pair who talked about Scene 3 showed part of this clip of Nina Simone singing/playing I Loves You Porgy. It's different than the original and other versions, in a great way. I knew she could sing, but I didn't know she could play piano like this. (For more visit
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