I Love You Porgy – 1994
A solo piano exploration
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Paul Bley (1932-2016) was always a very individual and interesting pianist.
While he came up in the 1950s playing bebop, he was open to freer sounds, using Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry in what became a short-lived gig in Los Angeles in 1958.
By the 1960s, Bley was well on his way to developing a freer way of playing that differed from Cecil Taylor in his use of space, melody, and his own creative ideas, creating his own type of avant-garde jazz which was often surprisingly gentle.
On this intriguing solo piano version of “I Love You Porgy,” Paul Bley keeps the melody in mind even as he stretches the tune into areas that would have surprised its composer, George Gershwin.