Prayer (Oh Doctor Jesus) (4:42)

Cover of Porgy And Bess

From Porgy And Bess and 30 other releases

Prayer is taken from Gil Evans and Miles Davis interpretation of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Miles’ playing is straightforward and simple; the addition of Evan’s full orchestration provides an emotional depth that is rarely heard. Miles begins with a simple introduction that relies upon a typical call and response technique that is so often used within a gospel choir. Once the choir is in full voice, Miles begins to witness. As Miles continues, you can almost envision a parishioner beginning to pray.

While Miles’ playing is simple, it is rich enough to reveal a parishioner steadying himself with his arms as he drops to his knees. As Miles continues, you will hear Evans’ arrangement that relies upon a bass clarinet and other horns, as a result, the tension increases. Now the parishioner is vivid in your mind’s eye. Hearing the under-current of the horn section, the increase in the orchestra’s volume which is led by the French horns makes the parishioner’s furrowed brow apparent and you feel his strife. Now the vision is real and palpable. You can now hear the parishioner’s sobbing, feel the heaving of his shoulders, see how tears have formed within his eyes and have begun to roll down his cheek.

In short, you can taste salt from the parishioner’s tears. And if that’s not music, I don’t know what is.

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