Columbia's 1987 Gershwin tribute album brandished the word "Classic" in the title with good reason, as Leonard Bernstein leads the New York Philharmonic in a reading of "An American in Paris" and Zubin Mehta conducts that same orchestra in a medley of themes from Woody Allen's film Manhattan. George Gershwin's 1925 player piano roll version of "Rhapsody in Blue" is accompanied by the Columbia Jazz Band under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, who conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic on behalf of Porgy and Bess and performs Gershwin's "Three Preludes for Piano." Guitarist John Williams is featured on "A Foggy Day," and flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal delivers a light and spotless rendition of "Liza." This album, portions of which were recorded live, also contains a lovely, intimate rendition of "Embraceable You" by Cleo Laine and three arias from Porgy and Bess which are transformed into jazzy orchestral lieder by the incomparable Sarah Vaughan. ~ arwulf arwulf
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