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Big Bands of the 1950s (1950 - 1957)

Read "Big Bands of the 1950s (1950 - 1957)" reviewed by Russell Perry

Woody Herman disbanded the Second Herd in 1949 and, while Stan Kenton and Duke Ellington managed to keep a big band on the road through the 1950s, Count Basie disbanded his band at the start of the decade but assembled a new one in a few years. Generally this was a tough period for large ensembles. This, however, didn't dampen the urge for musicians and composers to hear music in large forms and find ways to make it real. In ...

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Gil Evans: Old Bottle New Wine

Read "Old Bottle New Wine" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

Arranger / pianist Gil Evans did not record extensively as a leader, and he only released a few albums in the “classic" mode established by his collaborations with Miles Davis. New Bottle Old Wine (originally released on Pacific Jazz in 1958) is perhaps the best regarded—due to the vibrant presence of Julian “Cannonball" Adderley as the featured soloist, and the killer line-up of tunes from jazz's past, which Evans transformed into modern, third-stream-leaning music with all the wit of his ...

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Gil Evans: The Gil Evans Orchestra Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix

Read "The Gil Evans Orchestra Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix" reviewed by Sacha O'Grady

Out of all the myriad of tribute albums dedicated to Jimi Hendrix, this would have to be the most authentic and genuine. Evans and Hendrix had spoken on numerous occasions about working together, Jimi having even asked the legendary jazz arranger to teach him how to read and write music, thus liberating the guitarist from the burden of having to record everything on tape. But their friendship might never have happened were it not for producer Alan Douglas, who had ...

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Gil Evans: The Complete Pacific Jazz Sessions

Read "The Complete Pacific Jazz Sessions" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

How do you summarize the history of jazz on a couple records? Ask Gil Evans. His two records New Bottle Old Wine (1958) and Great Jazz Standards (1959), originally released on World Pacific, have been reissued on one CD entitled The Complete Pacific Jazz Sessions. Each of the fifteen tracks is a chapter in the music's history from the start to the years when these recordings were made. From Jelly Roll Morton and W.C. Handy to Monk and Charlie Parker, ...

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Gil Evans: The Complete Pacific Jazz Sessions

Read "The Complete Pacific Jazz Sessions" reviewed by Greg Camphire

While perhaps best remembered for his landmark Miles Davis collaborations, arranger/bandleader/pianist Gil Evans' work with his own ensembles is notable in its own right. This reissue of The Complete Pacific Jazz Sessions combines two crucial Evans albums from 1958 and 1959: New Bottle, Old Wine and Great Jazz Standards. The fifteen overall performances capture Evans' expansive harmonic palette, painted by an all-star ensemble of colorists, offering an advanced reinterpretation of the great jazz tradition that still shines with a modern ...

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Gil Evans: The Complete Pacific Jazz Sessions

Read "The Complete Pacific Jazz Sessions" reviewed by Norman Weinstein

"Complete" in this case refers to two LPs worth of primo early Gil Evans.The first LP on this disc answers the question of what would have happened if Evans had written a concerto for anyone other than Miles Davis. “New Bottle, Old Wine" is a version of the “Miles Ahead" concerto concept for Cannonball Adderley. And while the adventurous arrangements of “King Porter Stomp" and “Lester Leaps In" exercise Cannonball's skills to the max, this is an attractively happy entertainment, ...

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Gil Evans: The Complete Pacific Jazz Sessions

Read "The Complete Pacific Jazz Sessions" reviewed by Chris May

If Stan Kenton's ponderous Sophisticated Approach (1961) showed how little jazz it is possible to make with an orchestra the size of Texas, Gil Evans' The Complete Pacific Jazz Sessions shows how much more you can make with a lot less. The CD brings together two collections of brilliantly reimagined standards, New Bottle, Old Wine (1958) and Great Jazz Standards (1959), recorded when Evans was red-hot from two successes with Miles Davis, Miles Ahead and Porgy And Bess.

Evans' signature ...


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