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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

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

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

And not only Cinematic Orchestra, but Amon Tobin too.

Lee G (Lee G), Wednesday, 22 October 2003 15:06 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (nine 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 (nine 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 (nine 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight years ago) Permalink

my hero


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

totally horrible cover! great album!

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

ooh i should get that.

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

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

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


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

the thornhill stuff is so great.

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

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


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

three years pass...

I have been giving The Individualism of Gil Evans and Out Of The Cool some serious play today. Fucking great albums, probably not surprising considering the personnel involved but they have that Gil Evans touch.

calzino, Thursday, 25 May 2017 19:35 (five months ago) Permalink

Shit i thought this was a bill evans thread. Greatest of all jazz pianists. Gil evans on the other hand never did it for me. Whatever i jeard of his, it was always too orchestral, too much over the top. Quite the opposite of the tranquil beauty of bill evans. I probably don't know gil evans music enough.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Thursday, 25 May 2017 22:02 (five months ago) Permalink

I do agree with that last sentence. Alls I heard was Blah Blah the rest!

calzino, Thursday, 25 May 2017 22:30 (five months ago) Permalink

Out of the cool is an all time top 20 record for me, it's just fucking perfect

twink peas it is happening again (Jon not Jon), Friday, 26 May 2017 00:24 (five months ago) Permalink

Aye, it truly is an exquisite piece of work. I thought that totally smoking guitar on it was Kenny Burrell cos it sounds lot like him, but it's Ray Crawford - known for being in Ahmad Jamal's band. Obviously working with Miles rubbed off on him somewhat, but I haven't heard much of his early gear to tell.

calzino, Friday, 26 May 2017 09:50 (five months ago) Permalink

Love Johnny Coles on Out of the Cool too, 'Where Flamingos Fly' is just such a beautiful 'frozen moment' piece of music.

Bernie Lugg (Ward Fowler), Friday, 26 May 2017 10:13 (five months ago) Permalink

This record might have been the first one to show me frozen moment music. So that when laughing stock came out a few years later I was like YES THIS BUT EVEN MORE SO

twink peas it is happening again (Jon not Jon), Friday, 26 May 2017 13:20 (five months ago) Permalink

In my early days as a jazz fan, after I got through with the Miles + Gil Evans box set, I found out that Gil had albums under his own name and this really got me excited. So, I hurried down to the used record store and headed straight for the "E" section in the jazz racks. Only album of Gil's in there was Out of the Cool, so I of course picked it up. I immediately loved it, as it was like his stuff with Miles, but with a more impressionistic overall vibe. For years, I kept the album, revisiting it sporadically and really just loving from the vantage point of, "This is the guy that worked with Miles."

Fast forward and I'm reading a current interview with David Axelrod, where he was talking about an album "that changed everything" for him. What was that album? Out of the Cool.

I was floored. Never, through all my listenings of the album, did I ever hear it with the thought that it had been so influential on my favorite music maker. I immediately went back to the album with this fresh thought in mind and it was a total paradigm shift in how the album sounded. It was so obvious, all along, that Axelrod adored this album. I actually felt a little dumb for not noticing sooner.

Such an all time classic.

Austin, Friday, 26 May 2017 18:48 (five months 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.

skot otm

also both volumes of Live at Umbria Jazz

Brad C., Friday, 26 May 2017 19:16 (five months ago) Permalink

My entry to Gil - other than the Miles stuff - was via Woebot's mix for Blogariddims. Barbara Song destroyed me and still does. From there I went to Individualism, Birth of the Cool and a couple of the later live albums. Will check the Umbria live stuff for sure.

That Woebot mix is ace, and on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/user/jwheare/playlist/5PKt17yVZ6LJpmgrTAmnJR

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Friday, 26 May 2017 21:20 (five months ago) Permalink

there should really be a live bootleg series of orchestra shows over the years. like dick's picks only i would buy them.

scott seward, Friday, 26 May 2017 21:33 (five months ago) Permalink

there were always japanese guys in the corner recording when i would go see him at sweet basil. must be tons of audio out there.

scott seward, Friday, 26 May 2017 21:34 (five months ago) Permalink

THANK YOU for the tip on these Live At The Public Theater albums! So funky!

kurt schwitterz, Tuesday, 30 May 2017 18:31 (five months ago) Permalink

Paris Blues with Steve Lacey is a hell of a lovely piano/sax duo album. I especially love the mellow Fender Rhodes flourishes and very open interpretation of standards.

calzino, Sunday, 4 June 2017 14:42 (five months ago) Permalink

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