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Jazz - Released September 1, 1958 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

The title New Bottle Old Wine given to this superb record by Gil Evans, his second album under his name, could not be more apt. Collaborators Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, W.C. Handy, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Dizzy Gilespie and others create a sound akin to a divine vintage liqueur; the great Canadian composer, arranger, conductor and pianist provides the brand-new bottle. A mature collection, ahead of its time and realized with the help of 5-star soloists headed by the saxophonist Cannonball Adderley. When this album was released in 1958, Gil Evans was 46 years old and already held a sparkling track record with regard to his active participation in the revolution of Cool Jazz and Modal Jazz. On this album released by the label World Pacific, the nuclear strength of his singular arrangements is even more impressive. The unusual punctuations that he includes on a whim and the refined sequences paralleled with more abundant ones bring a certain chaos to these extremely well-known compositions. The success of New Bottle Old Wine is due also to the caliber of the virtuous collaborators, including legendary sidemen (Art Blakey, Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones) and the lesser-known but equally brilliant Bill Barber, Frank Rehak, Johnny Coles, Jerry Sanfinoa and Phil Bodner. The record is an essential marker in the career of Gil Evans as two months after the sessions of New Bottle Old Wine, he arranged with Miles Davis a historic reimagining of Gershwin’s opera, Porgy & Bess… © Marc Zisman/Qobuz

Jazz - Released January 1, 1964 | Verve Reissues

Although Gil Evans had gained a lot of acclaim for his three collaborations with Miles Davis in the 1950s and his own albums, this CD contains (with the exception of two tracks purposely left off), Evans's only dates as a leader during 1961-68. The personnel varies on the six sessions that comprise the CD (which adds five numbers including two previously unreleased to the original Lp) with such major soloists featured as tenorman Wayne Shorter, trombonist Jimmy Cleveland, trumpeter Johnny Coles and guitarist Kenny Burrell. Highlights include "Time of the Barracudas," "The Barbara Song," "Las Vegas Tango" and "Spoonful." Highly recommended to Gil Evans fans; it is a pity he did not record more during this era. © Scott Yanow /TiVo

Jazz - Released January 1, 1958 | Prestige

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. © Scott Yanow /TiVo

Jazz - Released February 1, 2002 | RCA Victor

This CD reissue (which adds additional material to the original LP program) is much more successful than one might have expected. Jimi Hendrix was scheduled to record with Gil Evans' Orchestra but died before the session could take place. A few years later, Evans explored ten of Hendrix's compositions with his unique 19-piece unit, an orchestra that included two French horns, the tuba of Howard Johnson, three guitars, two basses, two percussionists and such soloists as altoist David Sanborn, trumpeter Marvin "Hannibal" Peterson, Billy Harper on tenor, and guitarists Ryo Kawasaki and John Abercrombie. Evans' arrangements uplift many of Hendrix's more blues-oriented compositions and create a memorable set that is rock-oriented but retains the improvisation and personality of jazz. [This album was re-released in 2002 on the Bluebird label with four bonus tracks from the same sessions] © Scott Yanow /TiVo

Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Capitol Records

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 reading of "King Porter Stomp" is the stunner here, with Adderley's solo being a prized moment. There isn't a weak cut in the whole mess though. Other standouts include Fats Waller's "Willow Tree," "Lester Leaps In," with great solos by Wayne and Adderley, the burning finale of Dizzy Gillespie's "Manteca," and Charlie Parker's "Bird Feathers" closing it out. The second of these albums, Great Jazz Standards, featured a similar band with some notable differences. For one, the inclusion of soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy as a soloist and rhythm sections that included either Dennis Charles or Elvin Jones on drums, Curtis Fuller on trombone, and Budd Johnson on tenor for about half the set. The finer moments here include "Ballad of the Sad Young Men," (a newish tune at the time with a fine piano solo by Evans) John Lewis' "Django," with a truly brilliant and understated solo by Lacy, who also does a commendable job on "Straight No Chaser." Johnson wails on Gil Evans' "La Nevada (Theme)." Evans arrangement of Clifford Brown's "Joy Spring" is also a killer, with his and guitarist Ray Crawford's solos. The Complete Pacific Jazz Recordings is a fine collection issued by Blue Note, which, as part of the Connoisseur Series, is limited and will be out of print again soon. Don't wait. © Thom Jurek /TiVo

Jazz - Released February 20, 2018 | nagel heyer records


Jazz - Released January 1, 1994 | Verve


Jazz - Released January 1, 1961 | Impulse!

Although this album (reissued on CD) proudly states that it is by the Gil Evans Orchestra and has Evans' picture on the cover, the arranger actually had nothing to do with the music. Three songs have the nucleus of his big band performing numbers composed, arranged, and conducted by John Carisi (who also plays one of the trumpets). Those selections by the composer of "Israel" are disappointingly forgettable. The other three performances are even further away from Evans for they are actually selections by avant-garde pianist Cecil Taylor's septet! Taylor's music features trumpeter Ted Curson, trombonist Roswell Rudd, altoist Jimmy Lyons, tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp, bassist Henry Grimes, and drummer Sunny Murray and is quite adventurous and exciting, the main reason to acquire this somewhat misleading set. © Scott Yanow /TiVo

Jazz - Released July 26, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

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. © Scott Yanow /TiVo

Jazz - Released April 19, 2017 | Alpharecord - Fonotil


Jazz - Released October 11, 1999 | SendMusic