Genre: Jazz
Label: Telarc


Michel Camilo Rhapsody In Blue M-CH SACD

Michel Camilo

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Camilo’s newest effort on Telarc seamlessly merges jazz and symphonic sensibilities with a unique rendition of Gershwin’s immortal “Rhapsody in Blue,” followed by some of the great American composer’s lesser known work—his Concerto in F, followed by his Prelude No. 2 for solo piano, with a touch of improvised blues.

“I’m a big admirer of Gershwin. I always have been,” says Camilo, who has included Gershwin music in his stage and studio repertoire since the earliest days of his career. “The reason is because he pushed all the boundaries from one musical world to another, and he did it with no fear. I have been trying to do the same with my career, going from jazz to film scores to world beat experiments to guest solo performances with symphony orchestras.”

Fernando Gonzalez, managing editor of Jazziz magazine and author of the Rhapsody in Blue liner notes, takes the comparison a step further. “Like George Gershwin before him, Camilo is an irrepressible New World romantic,” says Gonzalez. “Both his music and his playing are open faced, generous, and ambitious, full of energy and brash optimism.”

For Camilo, the project was all about preserving the freshness and immediacy of Gershwin’s music—no small feat with 95 other musicians playing along. “There’s a certain spontaneity that I wanted to capture in this music. I discussed this with Ernest and the orchestra, and we all went after that magic,” says Camilo. “I didn’t want it to sound too formal, but instead a little bit wild…With music like this, a performer will often ‘play the ink,’ which means playing the notes that Gershwin wrote for the piano part. But I tried to make it sound like I was improvising by taking some liberties, although I was playing the ink. That was the spirit I was trying to capture.”

Would Gershwin approve of a 21st century jazz interpretation of his work? Gonzalez has little doubt. Michel Camilo’s Rhapsody in Blue “is a streetwise approach to Gershwin’s work,” he says. “Respectful but not reverential, exact but also swinging, classical in form but jazz in spirit—that would have done Gershwin proud.”

“Michel Camilo does justice to Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue...I definitely want more.” -

• 5.1 Surround Sound
• All Telarc SACDs are hybrid discs compatible for listening on traditional CD players.

Michel Camilo - piano
Ernest Martinez Izquierdo -- conductor
Barcelona Symphony Orchestra

George Gershwin (1896-1937)

1. Rhapsody in Blue
Concerto in F
2. Allegro
3. Adagio - Andante con moto
4. Allegro agitato
5. Prelude No. 2

Total playing time, 56:12

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