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Gil Evans & Ten

Gil Evans

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Album Review

Although arranger Gil Evans had been active in the major leagues of jazz ever since the mid-'40s and had participated in Miles Davis' famous Birth of the Cool recordings, Gil Evans & Ten was his first opportunity to record as a leader. The set features a typically unusual 11-piece unit consisting of two trumpets, trombonist Jimmy Cleveland, Bart Varsalona on bass trombone, French horn player Willie Ruff, Steve Lacy on soprano, altoist Lee Konitz, Dave Kurtzer on bassoon, bassist Paul Chambers, and either Nick Stabulas or Jo Jones on drums, plus the leader's sparse piano. As good an introduction to his work as any, this program includes diverse works ranging from Leadbelly to Leonard Bernstein, plus Evans' own "Jambangle." The arranger's inventive use of the voices of his rather unique sidemen make this a memorable set.

Biography

Born: May 13, 1912 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

One of the most significant arrangers in jazz history, Gil Evans' three album-length collaborations with Miles Davis (Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess, and Sketches of Spain) are all considered classics. Evans had a lengthy and wide-ranging career that sometimes ran parallel to the trumpeter. Like Davis, Gil became involved in utilizing electronics in the '70s and preferred not to look back and re-create the past. He led his own band in California (1933-1938) which eventually became the backup group for...
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Gil Evans & Ten, Gil Evans
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