Let's talk about Gil Evans

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Wow, sounds like a cool record - and probably just what I've been needing these days....think i'll mosy on down to the record store during my lunch break.

pheNAM (pheNAM), Wednesday, 22 October 2003 14:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I love Bill Evans even better, but yeah, Gil is grrrreat

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Wednesday, 22 October 2003 14:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

And not only Cinematic Orchestra, but Amon Tobin too.

Lee G (Lee G), Wednesday, 22 October 2003 15:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Gil Evans singlehandedly responsible for dominant orchestral soundtrack sound of 60s and 70s TV - there would be no Brady Bunch Go to Hawaii episode without him. For that - classic. Oh, and the Miles stuff too.

In all seriousness, I'd say he was probably the most important big band composer other than Duke Ellington.

dleone (dleone), Wednesday, 22 October 2003 15:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Has anyone heard that Tribute to Hendrix album from the 70s?

On AMG, Tony Williams is credited as 'Tony "Ruption" Williams'.

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 22 October 2003 15:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

the Hendrix thing is good. his different versions of Little Wing with various orchestras are great.

scott seward, Wednesday, 22 October 2003 16:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

Out of the Cool is great, as is The Individualism -- which I think is one LP with a lot of bonus cuts on CD.

If Timi Yuro would be still alive, most other singers could shut up, Monday, 1 September 2008 08:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

See also the two Pacific Jazz albums from the late fifties - New Bottles Old Wine and Great Jazz Standards - featuring radical reworkings of familiar tunes (the crossword puzzle of his "Straight No Chaser" arrangement still dazzles) and terrific playing from Adderley, Lacy, Budd Johnson, Elvin, Blakey and others. "Theme" is a startlingly more muscular prototype for "La Nevada" on Out Of The Cool.

"La Nevada" itself is one of the wonders of the 20th century; a model example of creative big band arranging and improvising - note how Ron Carter's bass solo effectively turns into a round robin of solos from everybody else - and your heart is wooden if Knepper's trombone on "Where Flamingos Fly" doesn't move you.

Highlights of Individualism - the extraordinary funereal reworking of "The Barbara Song" with Wayne Shorter sounding (a) like no one had ever heard him sound in 1964 and (b) ready for Silent Way and Weather Report, and the brilliant "Las Vegas Tango" with Elvin exploding behind Kenny Burrell's guitar and Carter and Chambers droning on their two-bass hit.

Then the 1969/71 album variously called Gil Evans and Blues In Orbit with its remarkable "General Assembly"; the Japanese band session with Masabumi Kikuchi in '73; the Hendrix album suffers from John Abercrombie and Ryo Kawasaki being great jazz guitarists but not Hendrix (maybe Evans should have hired Sonny Sharrock and/or Peter Brotzmann as featured soloists) but still has its moments; Svengali is uneven but has one of Evans' great balladic setpieces, "Zee Zee" featuring Hannibal Marvin Peterson; There Comes A Time - well, no one's caught up with that record's innovations yet (see the sixteen-minute title track - is it 1975 or 2075?).

The two albums taken from his historic Royal Festival Hall concert in 1978, which I was lucky enough to attend, were issued on different labels and out of sequence (one on RCA, the other on Mole Jazz) so it's hoped that someone will sort the legalities out and get the whole thing reissued as an integrated 2CD package - magnificent music.

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 1 September 2008 15:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

i still listen to the live at the public theater records. 2 volumes. from the 80's. i love those. very spacey. and i still dig the sweet basil live albums. and i play guitar forms - the album he made with kenny burrell - a bunch after all these years. steve lacey is on that one. i think. gil evans and ten - his first solo album - has great stuff from lee konitz on it. playing as "zeke tolin" for label reasons. that also has steve lacy on it.

i am an unabashed fanboy.

scott seward, Monday, 1 September 2008 16:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...

Gil Evans Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix <3 <3 <3

the kid is crying because did sharks died? (Hurting 2), Thursday, 13 August 2009 01:09 (seven years ago) Permalink

was listening to THIS the other day after not hearing it for years and it still blows my mind. Urzula Dudziak's insane space vocalizing is worth the price of admission alone!

scott seward, Thursday, 13 August 2009 01:22 (seven years ago) Permalink

wow, that is an exceptionally bad cover design

the kid is crying because did sharks died? (Hurting 2), Thursday, 13 August 2009 01:26 (seven years ago) Permalink

my hero

scott seward, Thursday, 13 August 2009 01:27 (seven years ago) Permalink

totally horrible cover! great album!

scott seward, Thursday, 13 August 2009 01:29 (seven years ago) Permalink

don't think i've heard anything by Gil post 60s ... curious about the Hendrix thang. Is that a good place to start?

tylerw, Thursday, 13 August 2009 01:30 (seven years ago) Permalink

i saw gil live about 5 or 6 times in the 80's and it was the only time i ever felt like a deadhead. "man, could you believe that goodbye pork-pie hat into zee zee!"

scott seward, Thursday, 13 August 2009 01:34 (seven years ago) Permalink

i wish more people would listen to those Live At The Public Theater albums. Two volumes. I love those so much. If you like sprawling shaggy pot-smoking big band records they are hard to beat. but i kinda like it all. love the sweet basil live sets too.

scott seward, Thursday, 13 August 2009 01:36 (seven years ago) Permalink

Not that this one makes a whole lot of visual sense:

the kid is crying because did sharks died? (Hurting 2), Thursday, 13 August 2009 01:40 (seven years ago) Permalink

svengali is a great 70's studio album. if you want post-60's. but little wing and the plays the music of jimi hendrix are great too. honestly, there is always SOMETHING good on any studio album. for real. paris blues, the album he made with steve lacy - and the last studio album, i think - is such a sweet record.

scott seward, Thursday, 13 August 2009 01:41 (seven years ago) Permalink

I have no trouble believing all that stuff is great. I need to dive in.

Matos W.K., Thursday, 13 August 2009 01:55 (seven years ago) Permalink

feel free to be bewildered by THIS record. cuz it's three tracks written by John Carisi, and arranged and conducted BY John Carisi, and three tracks written by Cecil Taylor, arranged and conducted BY Cecil Taylor(!!!). and it's a great record! and archie shepp completists need it.

scott seward, Thursday, 13 August 2009 02:05 (seven years ago) Permalink

i don't own a copy of this and i really need one. i always forget to check ebay for copies. i'll get one eventually.

scott seward, Thursday, 13 August 2009 02:11 (seven years ago) Permalink

i'm not the biggest bossa nova baby in the world, but i was really enjoying this album in the store this week. i have a soft spot for astrud.

scott seward, Thursday, 13 August 2009 02:13 (seven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Gil Evans singlehandedly responsible for dominant orchestral soundtrack sound of 60s and 70s TV

I'd argue Shorty Rogers for this point (especially since Shorty gave Mancini his break), but I'm big on a Gil Evans/George Russell/Bill Evans kick, these days.

PappaWheelie V, Tuesday, 17 August 2010 05:23 (six years ago) Permalink

love this

the legendary sirius trixon (m coleman), Tuesday, 17 August 2010 15:03 (six years ago) Permalink

ooh i should get that.

tylerw, Tuesday, 17 August 2010 18:33 (six years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

This sounds like it could be good:
The Gil Evans Centennial Project: Newly-discovered works of Gil Evans

Brad C., Friday, 11 March 2011 21:35 (six years ago) Permalink


The first time I heard Out Of The Cool it was one of those epiphanies. It's still a constant touchstone in my head for a certain timbral environment that I wish more records visited. The only other Gil I have which hits the same feel for me is Individualism. But it sounds like I need to hear those two Pacific Jazz LPs. Some of the 70s and 80s Gil is a little fonky for me.

Later on I found some of the same feel in the orchestral work of Delius; it was neat then to read somewhere that Gil was a Delius freak...

I love Du but I've chosen Balloon Guy (Jon Lewis), Friday, 11 March 2011 22:34 (six years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Happy 100th birthday, Gil Evans.

Here's a review of the Centennial album.

Brad C., Sunday, 13 May 2012 19:18 (four years ago) Permalink

happy b-day. this is pretty groovy. kind of coming around on gil's hendrix album, did not like it much at all when i first heard it, but now i'm digging it.

tylerw, Sunday, 13 May 2012 19:53 (four years ago) Permalink

ooh and here's a whole show from the 70s too

pretty killer band. too bad that miles and evans didn't do a little more work together in the 70s -- would've been interesting to see how Gil would deal with, say, the Agharta band.

tylerw, Sunday, 13 May 2012 20:05 (four years ago) Permalink

gil did work with miles on a lot of miles' 70's stuff. even though it was often uncredited.

scott seward, Monday, 14 May 2012 00:01 (four years ago) Permalink

oh yeah? what stuff? i know they were in touch all the time during those years and probably bounced plenty of ideas off one another, but i didn't know there are actual tracks on miles' albums that evans arranged.

tylerw, Monday, 14 May 2012 01:31 (four years ago) Permalink

That Barcelona video is great! I wonder what year that is?

Brad C., Monday, 14 May 2012 02:02 (four years ago) Permalink


Brad C., Monday, 14 May 2012 02:09 (four years ago) Permalink

any idea who the guitarist is in that Barcelona clip?

Scott, bass player for Tenth Avenue North (Hurting 2), Monday, 14 May 2012 02:15 (four years ago) Permalink

"oh yeah? what stuff?"

there is a great book on gil that details some of this. basically, miles ALWAYS wanted gil's input on just about anything he did and gil worked with him on lots of his albums in the studio and also helped him with writing. there are people who think miles should have given gil more writing/arranging/production credits than he did but gil didn't really care. he helped miles with his music until the very end. he was there for him no matter what. money or no money.

scott seward, Monday, 14 May 2012 02:32 (four years ago) Permalink

Gil Evans : out of the cool : his life and music / Stephanie Stein Crease <-- I need a copy of this

I think it's this book that describes Miles and Gil having lengthy phone conversations during which all they did was watch TV together

Brad C., Monday, 14 May 2012 02:45 (four years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

any excuse to bump this thread

Maria Schneider Selects 12 Essential Gil Evans Tracks

Spotify playlist of her picks

Brad C., Monday, 2 September 2013 15:08 (three years ago) Permalink

the thornhill stuff is so great.

scott seward, Monday, 2 September 2013 15:28 (three years ago) Permalink

I'm enjoying the Thornhill and "Birth of the Cool" arrangements on here:

Brad C., Monday, 2 September 2013 18:20 (three years ago) Permalink

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