George Gershwin’s extraordinary musical world emerges, caresses us, amazes us and finally overwhelms us in the uniqueness of this concert. Rolff shapes in a contemporary writing, the songs, the musicals, the jazz and the orchestral sound that made Gershwin’s music the pillar on which the ‘American Sound’ is built. On November 2021 the dutch label CHALLENGE RECORDS releases Massimiliano Rolff’s new album “GERSHWIN ON AIR – Porgy, Bess and Beyond”. Massimiliano Rolff Trio found a surprising feeling and a unique understanding through the highlights musical moments of the opera ‘Porgy and Bess’ and on the amazing series of wonderful songs all signed by George and Ira Gershwin.
Melody is the main character of this concert, where interplay, imaginative atmospheres, soul and swing are revealed, in a climax of vibrant improvisations. The concert features a suite from “Porgy and Bess” (including Ain’t necessarily so, Summertime, I loves you Porgy) and many great Gershwin’ songs such as A foggy day, Embraceable you, But not for me…
LINER NOTES by Francesco Martinelli – Siena Jazz
What is striking is the flexibility with which the three musicians in this ensemble unreservedly place themselves at the disposal of the composition and the interpretation that the leader wishes to convey, with interventions that are appropriate to the specific expressive and emotional dimensions of the unique arrangement. From the very first bars of the introduction and the Latin groove of “It ain’t necessarily so”, there is a feeling that we are dealing with an original and solid idea, not a simple recreation; the piece is continuously varied in every aspect, while always remaining true to the original.
Among the songs in the repertoire, perhaps the least visited by the mainstream is “Who Cares?” (despite the historical version by Bill Evans and some recent appearances in pop music). We hear a relaxed version that also features some unexpected glimpses in the reinterpretations of the theme, as well as in the solos: an excellent representation of the qualities of this trio, which recreates a Gershwin by turns meditative and nocturnal, solar and rhythmic, always open to a contemporary improvisation that enhances the classical values, the singable melodies, and the delicate harmonies.