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.
The second of two album to come out of the Nov 1987 sessions featuring the great Gil Evans with Laurent Cugny's Big Band Lumiere. The first album is RHYTHM-A-NING. Laurent Cugny was born in 1955, he is one of the best French jazz musician and known as a specialist of Gil Evans' music. Laurent wears two hats: he is, on one side, a musician and, on the other, a musicologist and a professor at the Paris-Sorbonne University. Self-taught musician, he started playing the piano when he was ten and played in amateur groups at the age of eighteen. He created several groups while he was studying economics and film studies. In 1979, he created the Big Band Lumiere and won the same year the third prize of piano at the National Jazz Competition in La Defense. In 1980, he also received prizes for its compositions and for the Big Band Lumiere.
This is a very interesting recording. Aging arranger/pianist Gil Evans agreed after much persuasion to come to Paris and play his music at a few concerts with Laurent Cugny's Orchestra. After only one rehearsal, the first event took place, and it gratified Evans to realize that the young French musicians were not only excellent players but big Gil Evans fans. Their interpretations of Thelonious Monk's "Rhythm-A-Ning," "London" and "La Nevada" rank with the best versions of Evans's regular Monday Night Band, and Cugny's "Charlie Mingus' Sound of Love" (an answer to Mingus' "Duke Ellington's Sound of Love") is also excellent. Few of the sidemen, other than tenor-saxophonist Andy Sheppard and percussionist Marilyn Mazur, are known in the U.S., but they did an excellent job of bringing Gil Evans's music to life.
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.