I wrote the liner notes for this recording. The message atop the CD cover above—a self-portrait by George Gershwin—reads, "To Hugh, my good friend. Johnny Costa.")
Costa's third CD for Chiaroscuro was recorded in Pittsburgh in 1993. The recording session began late because the piano "clicked" whenever Costa played. It wasn't possible to eliminate the clicking, which required many hours of editing the DAT master tapes before this CD was released.
"A Portrait of George Gershwin" presents the collaboration of a composer who wrote from the heart with a pianist who played from the heart. Who could ask for anything more?
The George Gershwin Songbook played here includes "Strike Up the Band," "Love Walked In," "But Not for Me," "Embraceable You," "Someone to Watch Over Me," and "Lady Be Good." There are also a few lesser known Gershwin tunes: "Shall We Dance" and "He Loves and She Loves."
Performed are three notable medleys: "Porgy and Bess," "Concerto in F and Rhapsody in Blue" and "An American in Paris."
"The beautiful melodies that Gershwin described as dripping endlessly from his fingers flowed poignantly and effortlessly from Costa's fingertips on that Saturday and Sunday in October 1993." (Quoted from the liner notes by Hugh Glenn.
1. Strike Up the Band
2. Bidin' Mt Time/I've Got a Crush on You/Nice Work If You Can Get It
3. Liza/ConcertoiIn F/The Man I Love/Who Cares
4. Shall We Dance?
5. Love Walked In
6. S'Wonderful/Oh! Lady Be Good
7. But Not for Me
8. Porgy And Bess Medley
9. An American in Paris/Mine/Swanee
10. Embraceable You
11. Somebody Loves Me/He Loves and She Loves
12. Clap Yo' Hands
13. Someone to Watch Over Me
14. Concerto in F/I've Got Rhythm/Rhapsody in Blue