The great jazz arranger Gil Evans is best known for his collaborations with Miles Davis, but he also led a monster session for Impulse, Out of the Cool, a fabulous Verve date, The Individualism of Gil Evans, and several great releases on the Pacific Jazz/World Pacific label. This World Pacific re-issue features Julian "Cannonball" Adderly on alto, Frank Rehak on trombone, Johnny Coles on trumpet and Chuck Wayne on guitar, filled out with a handful of other players making up a modestly sized "big band".
This is a neglected masterpiece, otherwise available only as on out of print Blue Note CD. The lack of a listing in the Penguin Guide reflects this state of neglect, which afflicts jazz records in general. This 1958 recording was Evans' second release as a leader, and it proved that he could fly solo. The session consists of classic jazz standards, among them 'St. Louis Blues', 'Round Midnight and 'Lester Leaps In' and the interpretations are classic too. For years I've enjoyed my mono original and I sniffed a bit when I saw Pure Pleasure had re-mastered the stereo tapes. How wrong I was! This is a true stereo recording and an outstanding one at that, which I prefer to the mono. Highest recommendation. Dennis D Davis / HiFi+
Personnel: Cannonball Adderley: alto saxophone/ Johnny Coles, Louis Mucci: trumpet/ Joe Bennet, Frank Rehak, Tom Mitchell: trombone/ Julius Watkins: French horn/ Chuck Wayne: guitar/ Paul Chambers: bass/ Gil Evans: piano
Ernie Royal: trumpet on A1,A2,A3,B1,B2/ Clyde Reasincer: trumpet on A4,B3,B4/ Harvey Philips: tuba on A1,A2,B1,B2/ Bill Barber: tuba on A3,A4,B3,B4/ Jerry Sanfino: reeds on A3,A4,B1,B2/ Phil Bodner: reeds on A3,A4,B3,B4/ Philly Joe Jones: drums on A3/ Art Blakey: drums on all other selections.
Side A: 1. St Louis Blues 2. King Porter Stomp 3.Willow Tree 4. Struttin’ With Some Barbecue
Side B: 1. Lester Leaps In 2. ‘Round Midnight 3. Manteca 4. Bird Feathers.
Arranged, co-produced and conducted by: Gil Evans
Recorded in N.Y. City on April 9 (A1,A2,B1,B2) / May 2 (A3)/ May 21 (A4)/ May 26 (B3,B4)
Produced by George Avakian
Re-mastering by: Sean Magee at Abbey Road Studios