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.
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.
Sting - After disbanding the Police at the peak of their popularity in 1984, Sting quickly established himself as a viable solo artist, one obsessed with expanding the boundaries of pop music. Sting incorporated heavy elements of jazz, classical, and worldbeat into his music, writing lyrics that were literate and self-consciously meaningful, and he was never afraid to emphasize this fact in the press.
Miles Davis and storied producer/arranger Quincy Jones shared a long friendship and working history, despite the jazz trumpeter's legendary reputation as an intimidating and difficult collaborator. Their last partnership comes to light Tuesday in Miles Davis With Quincy Jones and the Gil Evans Orchestra Live at Montreux 1991, a concert from the Montreux Jazz Festival captured shortly before Davis died. Evans died in 1988.