The second of two Gil Evans LPs originally recorded for the Japanese Trio label and put out in the United States on the now-defunct Black-Hawk company features the veteran arranger leading a 14-piece group at a pair of 1980 concerts. The five selections (which include Jimi Hendrix's "Stone Free," Charles Mingus' "Orange Was the Color of Her Dress" and Evans's "Zee Zee") are given colorful treatment by the unique band, which consists of three keyboardists, a rhythm section propelled by drummer Billy Cobham, three trumpets (Lew Soloff, Jon Faddis and Hannibal Marvin Peterson), two trombones (including George Lewis), John Clark on French horn, baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett and altoist Arthur Blythe. Although the end results do not quite live up to the potential of this unique ensemble, there are plenty of colorful moments.
One of arranger Gil Evans's main talents was his ability to fuse diverse, unique performers into a unified ensemble. He accomplishes that on the first of two LPs taken from a pair of 1980 concerts, even if his presence is felt more than heard. Although Evans is on electric piano, he also employed two other synthesizer players (Masabumi Kikuchi and Pete Levin) in his eclectic band, which at the time included such notables as Lew Soloff, Jon Faddis and Hannibal Marvin Peterson on trumpets, altoist Arthur Blythe, trombonist George Lewis, baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett and drummer Billy Cobham, among others. A lengthy "Anita's Dance" and a remake of "Gone, Gone, Gone" are the more memorable selections.
La musique de Gil Evans traverse le temps avec une grande fluidité, restant un solide fil d’Ariane pour de nombreux jazzmen, jeunes ou moins. Son principal disciple européen, Laurent Cugny, n’a jamais cessé de transmettre l’héritage du maitre disparu en 1988 mais surtout de faire vivre sa musique. Cet album, le premier du Gil Evans Paris Workshop (GEPW), orchestre en forme de all-stars du jeune jazz français, est la nouvelle preuve de sa mission à laquelle il ne faillit jamais. Reprenant une instrumentation proche de celles qu'affectionnait Gil Evans, avec cor, tuba, guitare et flûte, le GEPW redonne vie aux classiques de l'arrangeur tout en permettant aux musiciens de la nouvelle génération du jazz français qui le constituent de s'approprier et d'interpréter ce répertoire historique sans le figer.
Gil Evans released two records on World Pacific in 1958 and 1959. They were among his earliest dates as a leader. Gil Evans & Ten was issued by Prestige in 1957, but these dates stand out more. New Bottle, Old Wine was the first of the pair and the band included four trumpets, a trio of trombones, French horn (played by Julius Watkins), a pair of tubas, Cannonball Adderley as the lone saxophonist, and a rhythm section that included either Philly Joe Jones or Art Blakey on drums, Paul Chambers on bass, and Chuck Wayne on guitar.
The second of two album to come out of the Nov 1987 sessions featuring the great Gil Evans with Laurent Cugny's Big Band Lumiere. The first album is RHYTHM-A-NING. Laurent Cugny was born in 1955, he is one of the best French jazz musician and known as a specialist of Gil Evans' music. Laurent wears two hats: he is, on one side, a musician and, on the other, a musicologist and a professor at the Paris-Sorbonne University. Self-taught musician, he started playing the piano when he was ten and played in amateur groups at the age of eighteen. He created several groups while he was studying economics and film studies. In 1979, he created the Big Band Lumiere and won the same year the third prize of piano at the National Jazz Competition in La Defense. In 1980, he also received prizes for its compositions and for the Big Band Lumiere.
This is a very interesting recording. Aging arranger/pianist Gil Evans agreed after much persuasion to come to Paris and play his music at a few concerts with Laurent Cugny's Orchestra. After only one rehearsal, the first event took place, and it gratified Evans to realize that the young French musicians were not only excellent players but big Gil Evans fans. Their interpretations of Thelonious Monk's "Rhythm-A-Ning," "London" and "La Nevada" rank with the best versions of Evans's regular Monday Night Band, and Cugny's "Charlie Mingus' Sound of Love" (an answer to Mingus' "Duke Ellington's Sound of Love") is also excellent. Few of the sidemen, other than tenor-saxophonist Andy Sheppard and percussionist Marilyn Mazur, are known in the U.S., but they did an excellent job of bringing Gil Evans's music to life.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. This is one of Gil Evans's finest recordings of the 1970s. He expertly blended together acoustic and electronic instruments, particularly on an exciting rendition of "Blues in Orbit" (which includes among its soloists a young altoist named David Sanborn). All six selections have their memorable moments (even a one-and-a-half minute version of "Eleven"); colorful solos are contributed by guitarist Ted Dunbar, Howard Johnson on tuba and flügelhorn, the passionate tenor of Billy Harper, and bassist Herb Bushler, among others; and Evans's arrangements are quite inventive and innovative. Rarely would he be so successful in balancing written and improvised sections in his later years.