GIL EVANS

Progressive Big Band / Latin Jazz / Fusion / Avant-Garde Jazz • Canada
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Gil Evans (13 May 1912 – 20 March 1988) was a jazz musician and an important innovator of big band jazz in the United States as an arranger, composer, band leader, and pianist. He had a seminal role in the development of cool jazz, modal jazz, free jazz and jazz-rock.

Gil Evans was born in Toronto, Canada, as Ian Ernest Gilmore Green and early took the family name Evans from his stepfather. The family soon moved to California, where he spent the first decades of his life. From 1946 onwards he lived and worked in New York City.

In 1941-48 he worked as an arranger for the sophisticated Claude Thornhill Orchestra, from 1946 on in New York City. His modest basement apartment behind a Chinese laundry soon became a meeting place for musicians looking to develop the music from bebop, though Charlie Parker himself was among those involved. With Miles
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New Bottle, Old Wine [LP]New Bottle, Old Wine [LP]
Blue Note 2019
$24.79
$11.35 (used)
The Individualism of Gil EvansThe Individualism of Gil Evans
Remastered · Extra tracks
Verve Records 1989
$14.27
$8.04 (used)
4 LPS: New Bottle Old Wine4 LPS: New Bottle Old Wine
Avid Records Uk 2013
$6.79
$9.56 (used)
The Complete Pacific Jazz SessionsThe Complete Pacific Jazz Sessions
Blue Note 2006
$16.00 (used)
Plays The Music Of Jimi HendrixPlays The Music Of Jimi Hendrix
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2017
$3.87
$7.84 (used)
There Comes a TimeThere Comes a Time
Sony Japan 2014
$19.33
$22.96 (used)
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GIL EVANS Discography

GIL EVANS albums / top albums

GIL EVANS Gil Evans & Ten (aka Big Stuff!) album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Gil Evans & Ten (aka Big Stuff!)
Progressive Big Band 1957
GIL EVANS New Bottle Old Wine (Featuring Cannonball Adderley) (aka Roots) album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
New Bottle Old Wine (Featuring Cannonball Adderley) (aka Roots)
Progressive Big Band 1958
GIL EVANS Great Jazz Standards album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Great Jazz Standards
Progressive Big Band 1959
GIL EVANS Out of the Cool album cover 4.44 | 6 ratings
Out of the Cool
Progressive Big Band 1961
GIL EVANS Into The Hot album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Into The Hot
Progressive Big Band 1962
GIL EVANS The Individualism of Gil Evans album cover 4.42 | 4 ratings
The Individualism of Gil Evans
Progressive Big Band 1964
GIL EVANS Gil Evans (aka Gil Evans-Orchestra) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gil Evans (aka Gil Evans-Orchestra)
Progressive Big Band 1970
GIL EVANS Blues in Orbit album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Blues in Orbit
Progressive Big Band 1971
GIL EVANS Previously Unreleased Recordings (with Kenny Burrell & Phil Woods) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Previously Unreleased Recordings (with Kenny Burrell & Phil Woods)
Progressive Big Band 1973
GIL EVANS The Gil Evans Orchestra Play the Music of Jimi Hendrix album cover 4.27 | 4 ratings
The Gil Evans Orchestra Play the Music of Jimi Hendrix
Progressive Big Band 1974
GIL EVANS There Comes A Time album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
There Comes A Time
Progressive Big Band 1976
GIL EVANS Parabola album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Parabola
Progressive Big Band 1979
GIL EVANS Where Flamingos Fly album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Where Flamingos Fly
Progressive Big Band 1981
GIL EVANS MISA ESPIRITUAL Airto's Brazilian Mass album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
MISA ESPIRITUAL Airto's Brazilian Mass
Latin Jazz 1983
GIL EVANS Paris Blues (with Steve Lacy) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Paris Blues (with Steve Lacy)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1988
GIL EVANS Rhythm A Ning (with Laurent Cugny) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rhythm A Ning (with Laurent Cugny)
Progressive Big Band 1988
GIL EVANS Gil Evans, Laurent Cugny : Golden Hair album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gil Evans, Laurent Cugny : Golden Hair
Progressive Big Band 1989
GIL EVANS The Honey Man album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Honey Man
Progressive Big Band 1994

GIL EVANS EPs & splits

GIL EVANS live albums

GIL EVANS Svengali (aka Gil Evans) album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
Svengali (aka Gil Evans)
Progressive Big Band 1973
GIL EVANS Montreux Jazz Festival '74 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Montreux Jazz Festival '74
Progressive Big Band 1975
GIL EVANS Syntetic Evans album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Syntetic Evans
Progressive Big Band 1976
GIL EVANS Little Wing (Live In Germany) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Little Wing (Live In Germany)
Progressive Big Band 1978
GIL EVANS Gil Evans Live At The Royal Festival Hall London 1978 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gil Evans Live At The Royal Festival Hall London 1978
Progressive Big Band 1979
GIL EVANS Live At The Public Theater (New York 1980) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At The Public Theater (New York 1980)
Progressive Big Band 1980
GIL EVANS Live at the Public Theater, Volume 2: New York 1980 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at the Public Theater, Volume 2: New York 1980
Progressive Big Band 1980
GIL EVANS The Rest Of Gil Evans Live At The Royal Festival Hall London 1978 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Rest Of Gil Evans Live At The Royal Festival Hall London 1978
Progressive Big Band 1981
GIL EVANS The British Orchestra album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The British Orchestra
Progressive Big Band 1983
GIL EVANS Priestess album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Priestess
Progressive Big Band 1983
GIL EVANS Live at Sweet Basil album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Sweet Basil
Progressive Big Band 1985
GIL EVANS Live At Sweet Basil Vol.2 album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Live At Sweet Basil Vol.2
Progressive Big Band 1986
GIL EVANS Bud And Bird album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Bud And Bird
Progressive Big Band 1987
GIL EVANS Farewell - Live At Sweet Basil album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Farewell - Live At Sweet Basil
Progressive Big Band 1988
GIL EVANS Tokyo Concert album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tokyo Concert
Progressive Big Band 1990
GIL EVANS Gil Evans & Orchestra : Lunar Eclypse album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gil Evans & Orchestra : Lunar Eclypse
Progressive Big Band 1992
GIL EVANS Live 1986 - Unissued album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live 1986 - Unissued
Progressive Big Band 1994
GIL EVANS Live at Umbria Jazz 87 Vol.1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at Umbria Jazz 87 Vol.1
Progressive Big Band 2000
GIL EVANS 75th Birthday Concert album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
75th Birthday Concert
Progressive Big Band 2001
GIL EVANS Live At Umbria Jazz Vol.II album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At Umbria Jazz Vol.II
Progressive Big Band 2001
GIL EVANS Gil Evans & Jaco Pastorius : Live Under the Sky Tokyo '84 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gil Evans & Jaco Pastorius : Live Under the Sky Tokyo '84
Fusion 2016

GIL EVANS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

GIL EVANS re-issues & compilations

GIL EVANS Pacific Standard Time (aka The Complete Pacific Jazz Sessions aka Great Jazz Standards + New Bottle, Old Wine) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Pacific Standard Time (aka The Complete Pacific Jazz Sessions aka Great Jazz Standards + New Bottle, Old Wine)
Progressive Big Band 1975
GIL EVANS Verve Jazz Masters 23 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Verve Jazz Masters 23
Progressive Big Band 1994
GIL EVANS Priceless Jazz Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Priceless Jazz Collection
Progressive Big Band 1998
GIL EVANS The Complete Pacific Jazz Sessions album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
The Complete Pacific Jazz Sessions
Progressive Big Band 2006
GIL EVANS 100th Anniversary album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
100th Anniversary
Progressive Big Band 2012
GIL EVANS Go Hard or Go Home: The Artist's Delight album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Go Hard or Go Home: The Artist's Delight
Progressive Big Band 2015
GIL EVANS Classic Albums 1956-1963 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Classic Albums 1956-1963
Progressive Big Band 2017

GIL EVANS singles (0)

GIL EVANS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

GIL EVANS Reviews

GIL EVANS Out of the Cool

Album · 1961 · Progressive Big Band
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js
After three very successful albums with Miles Davis, Gil Evans set out on his own again and came up with this excellent set of groovy orchestrations called “Out of the Cool”. Unlike many other big band arrangers, Gil Evans does not try to literally blow you away with screaming horn ensemble passages and other sorts of fireworks, instead, subtlety and an almost effortless nonchalance are all a big part of what makes Evans’ music unique and attractive. Evan’s orchestrations sound like no one else, the tendency towards smeared murkiness and weird undercurrents may sometimes recall Ellington or Sun Ra, but other than that, there are not many others to compare against. A few years before "Out of the Cool" came out, the young Quincy Jones had emerged with a new big band sound that was bright, crisp and featured razor sharp ensemble playing, Evan’s more quirky, laid back and personally odd approach made for an interesting contrast to all that.

“Out of the Cool” opens with “La Nevada”, which is basically a long modal jam session on which Evans mostly stays out of the way while the soloists play excellent solos in a very relaxed and personal style that reflects the Evan’s approach. After this lengthy workout, the first side closes with the ballad “Where Flamingos Fly”, which is nicely played by trombonist Jimmy Knepper while Evans constantly shifts the harmonic and rhythmic background in subtle ways. Side two opens with Kurt Weil’s “Bilbao”, on which bassist Ron Carter carries much of the melody while being surrounded by horn dissonances that hang in the air while odd home-made percussion rumbles in the background. This side continues with one of those George Russell experimental numbers that combine modern concert hall structures with walking blues. While the soloists dig into the blues, the rhythm section keeps shifting in and out of double time and sometimes the bass is replaced with a walking trombone. The album closes with an Evan’s original, “Sunken Treasure”, which has Johnny Coles playing a trumpet solo over what sounds like a closing theme from a movie. You could see a piece like this having a big influence on Henry Threadgill.

Gil Evans is a tough artist to write about, its hard to explain why his orchestrations sound like no one else, you’ll just have to listen for yourself. One of the biggest compliments I could pay this album is that this music still sounds very modern today, and will probably continue to sound that way for a long time. Fans of modern orchestration from a jazz viewpoint will definitely want to get this.

GIL EVANS The Individualism of Gil Evans

Album · 1964 · Progressive Big Band
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Sean Trane
Well, there was an almost three-year gap in Evans’ solo career before the present on a different label (Verve, this time), in which I’m not sure what he did (outside Miles collabs) and it would almost seven years before another album would come out under his name. In the meantime, this isolated album just happens to be among his top 3 most essential albums, along with previous Out Of The Cool and the latter Svengali 70’s release. As often with GE, the music has a cinematic film (meaning it would be perfect to illustrate images, either documentaries or fiction), but it never gets boring and certainly don’t need visuals to exist and explode in your brains. Actually, as often, the music will induce images before you aural eyes. Among the cast of actors, you’ll find Shorter, Peacock, Elvin & Thad, Dolphy, Carter, Lacy, Chambers, Coles and Knepper and that’s only the name-dropping part.

The CD version of this album is a rather strange format that includes plenty of bonus tracks: nothing strange to that you’ll tell me, but to have the disc open on a bonus track is a relatively odd manner to reissue a classic album. There is somewhat of an explanation: if Time Of The Barracudas was recorded in the same session as Barbara Song, both are exquisite typical Gil Evans tracks that fit rather well together in terms of musical continuity. So much for preserving the integrity of the original release, but the cause is indeed a valid one. Past the exciting but still-swingy new opener, we come to the amazing Barbara, one of the masterpiece of this album, which starts out over some excellent horn works over Peacock’s excellent bass, soon joined by Elvin’s always excellent drumming, then it continues with an anguished piano over a smooth and very slow but brooding low-brass background. Excellent stuff!! Another chef d’oeuvre is the outstanding Las Vegas Tango, with its opening piano prefacing awesome Spanish-type mid-tempoed brass lines, before exploding your mind in pieces with an amazingly effective three notes high-brass ostinato riff coupled with low-brass single note answers, while guitarist Burrell sends one of those most definitive jazz-guitar solo ever through your eardrums, thus spending chills in your spine. Awesome stuff, really

Across the slice of wax, on the flipside, there was the 12-mins+ Flute-Hotel suite, the mood remains Rodrigo-styled in the intro, before Elvin bangs a tempo forcing the blowers and Gil to rolling over in a semi-bluesy groove, but it kind of overstays its welcome. Closing the original album is another Spanish-tinged track called Toreador that puts on an extra layer of dramatics. The album gets a prolonged life with the excellent and very à-propos Proclamation, another slow, brooding and dramatic cinematic piece. So far the new version of the album is nearly flawless, but it stops here, because the remaining tracks (however good they might be in their own genre) have simply nothing to do with the original album, at least musically speaking.

The Ellington-typed big band piece Nothing Like You sticks out like a toe, while the semi-goofy bluesy-swing jazz Concorde is again out of subject from the original lp. However, the last (and lengthy) bonus track, the Willie Dixon classic blues Spoonful is much more in line with Individualism, because the album’s aesthetics are respected. So the Cd version of the album is an undeniable plus to the vinyl version, if you’re willing to use the skip button on two ill-advised additions. But by all means, don’t let this slight imperfection discourage you from this absolutely essential album. Your life won’t be complete without this one, really!!!!!

GIL EVANS Svengali (aka Gil Evans)

Live album · 1973 · Progressive Big Band
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Sean Trane
Svengali is the generally-agreed masterpiece of Gil Evans in the 70’s, but if you’re a fan of Evans’ 60’s warm arrangements, you might not always find that Gil’s 70’s re-orchestration are in your tastes, because many consider the ambiances as colder, despite being of a groovier feel. Difficult to argue with that, but I certainly don’t think it’s a flaw, and IMHO this is Evans’ apex in his second career (the 70’s), after a fairly lengthy silence between 61 and 69, with only the astounding Individualism album of 64. Armed with an extensive big band - from which will emerge David Sanborn and Billy Harper (both saxmen) some time later on in the decade - Evans pulls off another very strong work, if a tad uneven at places. The weird thing about this album is that two of its longer tracks were already on the previous Blues In Orbit album from 71.

Opening on the enthralling Harper-penned Thoroughbred, the album continues with the uneven 10-mins+ Blues In Orbit, where you’ll find some odd synth sound that clash somewhat over the modern funky big-band instrumental fusion, but in general, Evans’ arrangements are quite tasty. Too bad the inconsequent (but thankfully short) rear-guard rendition of Miles’ Eleven closes the A-side. The flipside opens on Cry Of Hunger, but Harper’ slightly dissonant sax solo over some strange background clash a bit with the blues nature of the piece. This is the typical track that the 70’s-Evans-work detractors will point out as “cold feel”, but it’s nothing shocking to me. The rearranged Gershwin-classic Summertime is up next, and it is very much slowed-down, but it adds a unique feeling, reinforced by Dunbar’s excellent guitar solo up front. Cool stuff. The closing live-recorded Zee Zee is an absolutely stunning slow-paced almost-gloomy track, with some splendid Hannibal trumpet interventions.

Definitely Evans’ best 70’s album - by a long shot (haven’t heard them all, though) -, even if the first two tracks had appeared on a previous album with different arrangements, Svengali renews with Gil’s full splendour. I’ve seen the album come with a very different abstract artwork on a German label, but prefer the original one. Not totally indispensable maybe, but still rather essential.

GIL EVANS The Gil Evans Orchestra Play the Music of Jimi Hendrix

Album · 1974 · Progressive Big Band
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Sean Trane
A daring attempt to legitimize Jimi Hendrix’s music, this is a big band arrangement of some of Hendrix’s lesser-known works, but also some higher profile works. Armed with a very different big band than during his prime, Gil Evans’ big band features the usual wide array of brass instruments (including future star saxman Sanborn), but also two lead guitarists (including the future star John Abercrombie), some synthesizers and a bunch drums and percussion players.

Among some of the tracks Gil chose to interpret and rearrange there are some that come from the Cry Of Love posthumous release, including the opening Angel and Up From the Skies, which are not the most enthralling, IMHO. Some of the arrangements made on some of the better-known Crosstown Traffic, Foxy Lady, Little Wing, Voodoo Chile can actually surprise or disappoint, because they either render the songs less accessible or less recognizable. Some very pleasant surprises come with the generally overlooked 1983 and Gypsy Eyes (actually a Noel Redding track). Indeed both of these come from the depth of the excellent Electric Ladyland album’s second disc. As for the closing “reprise” of the Up From the Skies, I find it rather ill-advised closer, because it’s less interesting than the first version on the opening side.

Generally seen as a major Gil Evans oeuvre, the present album is relatively disappointing for me, but then again, this is always a risky bet for rockheads like me, but if you’re into Evans and Hendrix, this is definitely worthy of investigation, if you don’t already have it.

GIL EVANS Out of the Cool

Album · 1961 · Progressive Big Band
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Sean Trane
Obviously, this is the pendant of the Into The Hot, but we’re definitely in a different class of album altogether, a totally different beast. You’d have expected the OOTC album to be recapitulative résumé, and the Into The Hot album to be the groundbreaking new start, but actually, it’s quite the opposite. One of the key ingredients to this album’s success is the presence of Mingus’ usual suspect Jim Knepper on trombone, and Ron Carter’s excellent presence on the contrabass. With a cool artwork (for the times), and produced by future label owner Creed Taylor, OOTC is certainly of two landmarks in Evans’ non-Miles career.

Opening on the awesome 15-mins+ La Nevada piece, you just know that Evans left the cool and the bop to venture into much more adventurous songwriting. Indeed, in the first minute, the electric guitar and the electric piano ostinato (we’re in 61, dude!!), pulsing like an electronic beat give you a good idea that the album is anything but “standard” jazz. As a matter of fact, with this track, Evans might just be further ahead than Mingus’ seminal Black Saint album, as there are some obvious similarities between Charles and Gil’s songwriting, and you can find an obvious hint of this in the low-brass instruments’ arrangements. Awesome stuff, really!! The following slow-starting moody and broody Where Flamingos Fly is a great piece that could be easily translated in a classical music format.

On the flipside, the bigger-band-styled Bilbao Song is very Mingus-ian in the low-brass arrangements and Carter’s slow but inevitable bass, again with the trombone (4 of them) and tuba section led by Knepper’s science, often put to work for Charles; the song being a bit reminiscent of Gil-Miles’ Spanish Sketches (and far away from the usual Ellington-big-band-type of composition) but unfortunately it ends in a fishtail. The following Stratusphunk is another low-brass and bass dominated tune filled with bonhomie and medium goofiness, despite Coles’ excellent trumpet and Crawford’s cool guitar solos. The closing Sunken Treasure is another deep, slow, moody, broody and dramatic Evans composition that takes its time to develops, but unfortunately it could’ve been at least three minutes longer. Awesome arrangements once more. It’s a bit of a downer that the remastered version judged useful to add a happy and semi-boppy Sister Sadie that kind of ruins’ the album’s cohesiveness.

Strangely enough, there would be an almost three-year silence after a very busy 61, until the Individualism album would finally show up in the racks. Funny how people cursed and threatened of Judas the good old Miles for going electric, but nobody ever said a word about Crazy-Canuck Gil Evans’ electric piano or electric guitar in the present album a few years sooner. Anyway, Out Of The Cool might just claim a top-5 all-time post-bop spot, alongside SoS, KoB, ALS and BS&tLS, battling it out with Brubeck’s Time Out; so you’d better run for this album while it’s still available as a disc. No wonder this album was released on the always adventurous label Impulse!

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