Rhapsody in Blue recorded by Jazz Band?
March 12, 2009 6:37 AM   Subscribe

Recording of "Rhapsody in Blue" by a jazz band?

Has there ever been a recording of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" by an actual jazz band? Can anyone point me to it?
posted by musofire to Media & Arts (10 answers total)
 
The first result in Google for rhapsody in blue big band.

Are you looking for an arrangement that tries to recreate the entire piece with a jazz band, or a simpler arrangement of, say, just one of the themes?
posted by aswego at 6:44 AM on March 12, 2009


Rhapsody in Blue is jazz, done with classical instruments.
posted by gjc at 6:59 AM on March 12, 2009


Yeah, the jazz pianist Marcus Roberts does it with a jazz group + orchestra. You might be able to find some of it on YouTube, but I highly recommend the CD.

Michael Tilson Thomas's version is by an orchestra but it purports to be the original version. It's much jazzier and less "classical" than usual. So that might be of interest even if it's not exactly a "jazz band."
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:09 AM on March 12, 2009


Deodato does a funk/fusion/jazz version of it.
posted by sektah at 7:12 AM on March 12, 2009


Gerswhin wrote it for the Paul Whiteman big band and there are recordings available by him:
1) Gershwin at the piano with Whiteman
2) Live at the Aeolian Hall debut
posted by imposster at 7:23 AM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Wikipedia article is worth looking at. The symphonic arrangement wasn't made until 1942 (Ferde Grofé did that arrangement, as well as the ones for the Whiteman band.)
posted by imposster at 7:26 AM on March 12, 2009


Hmmm, I listened to some of these. I guess what I'm looking for is a jazz recording of Rhapsody that swings. The big band versions seem too similar to the symphonic ones, that is, they are fairly faithful to the score. The Marcus Roberts one is more improvisational but it just seems, I dunno, a tad precious.

I once heard, on the radio, a recording of Rhapsody that had a big of jazz sound and swing in it.
posted by musofire at 9:11 AM on March 12, 2009


I guess what I'm looking for is a jazz recording of Rhapsody that swings. ... The Marcus Roberts one is more improvisational but it just seems, I dunno, a tad precious.

I assure you, get the CD if you've only listened to free online versions. It swings all over the place -- it's fantastic. Maybe you listened to a segment that has less of a swing meter (which isn't inherently un-jazzy -- lots of jazz doesn't swing -- swing is just a particular meter that's often used in jazz).
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:23 AM on March 12, 2009


To put it another way, I think there are parts of RIB that just aren't supposed to swing. They'd be different melodies if you swung them. Marcus Roberts actually does swing these parts, thereby distorting the piece beyond recognition, and he does so brilliantly. But there are inevitably some parts where he's more faithful to the piece and doesn't swing -- that only accentuates the swinging parts. (I'm just saying this based on my general impression -- if someone can find a score that says it's supposed to be in a swing meter throughout, I'll stand corrected.)
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:29 AM on March 12, 2009


The Willem Breuker Kollektief does a great version of it. In fact, they've done it twice.
posted by shinybeast at 11:35 AM on March 12, 2009


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