Rhapsody In Blue

Marcus Roberts

A live version of the Gershwin classic by pianist Marcus Roberts with conductor Seiji Ozawa and the Berliner Philharmoniker

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George Gershwin originally composed “Rhapsody In Blue” in 1924 for the Paul Whiteman Orchestra.

While the original recording from that year is jazz-oriented, the piece was quickly adopted by the classical world, was quickly standardized, and performed virtually the same way countless times.

In recent times, the jazz community has begun taking back “custody” of the work, coming up with many fresh and looser interpretations of the piece that display its potential.

In 2003, pianist Marcus Roberts and his trio (with bassist Roland Guerin and drummer Jason Marsalis) toured with conductor Seiji Ozawa in Europe, performing nights filled with Gershwin’s “classical” pieces.

This exciting rendition of “Rhapsody In Blue” has Marsalis, his trio, a jazz big band, and a symphony orchestra opening up the piece.

While all of the themes of “Rhapsody In Blue” are heard, the musician’s jam during several of the sections really digs into the piece and creates an inventive and exciting rendition.

-Scott Yanow


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