With all the big names who recorded "Porgy and Bess," who is this guy Bill Potts?
He's one of those arrangers revered by musicians but virtually unknown to casual fans. Like Gil Evans, he wrote a jazz arrangement of "Porgy and Bess" in the '50s (although where Evans' is moody, Potts' is straight-ahead, quick and often playful). Like Evans, he gathered and conducted a big, all-star band (Evans got Miles Davis, Julian Adderley, Paul Chamners, Philly Joe Jones; Potts had Zoot Sims, Bill Evans, Art Farmer, Phil Woods, Gene Quill). Like Evans', Potts' results were magnificent.
But \o7 unlike\f7 Evans', Potts' album faded from the market and (horror of horrors!) the masters were lost. Its current reissue, therefore, is nearly a miracle. Potts had to search for mint copies of the original phonograph record from 1959 and then transfer it to CD. The album is now available in CD only (B 295132) from Capitol/Blue Note.
This is that rarity, a genuine \o7 find. \f7 You'll probably have to order it--the pressing was small and hardly promoted--but do it. It will become a favorite album for many.
Miles Davis, "Porgy and Bess" (1958), Columbia
Love, "Forever Changes" (1967), Elektra
Skeeter Davis & NRBQ, "She Sings, They Play" (1985), Rounder
Joe Ely, "Joe Ely" (1977), MCA
Tim Buckley, "Goodbye and Hello" (1967), Elektra
Van Morrison, "Saint Dominic's Preview" (1972), Warner Brothers
The Dwight Twilley Band, "Sincerely" (1975), Shelter
The J. Geils Band, "Full House" (1972), Atlantic
The Partridge Family, "Greatest Hits" (1989), Arista
Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Cosmo's Factory" (1970), Fantasy