Gil Evans: Straight, No Chaser


Straight, No Chaser


Gil Evans Orchestra


The Complete Pacific Jazz Sessions (Blue Note 0946 3 58300 2 6)

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13-piece band featuring Johnny Coles (trumpet), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Steve Lacy (soprano sax), Al Block (clarinet), Gil Evans (piano)


Composed by Thelonious Monk. Arranged by Gil Evans


Recorded: New York, early 1959


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Monk's 12-bar blues paraphrasing the opening French horn motif from Richard Straussís 1894 tone poem Till Eulenspiegelís Merry Pranks is translated by Gil Evans into a post-bop romp showcasing trumpeter Johnny Coles, trombonist Curtis Fuller and unsung hero Steve Lacy. Those familiar with Gil's subtle, intricate orchestrations for Miles Davis, assembled with the precision of a Swiss watchmaker, may be surprised by this chart's nonchalance, especially when layered ensemble repetitions of the theme gradually fracture into simultaneous improvisation by the lead players. Yet whether crafting precision timepieces for Miles or playing pranks on Monk, Gil Evans was a straight shot.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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