Maria Schneider: Evanescence




Maria Schneider Orchestra


Evanescence (Enja 80482)

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Mark Vinci (reeds), Tim Ries (reeds), Rich Perry (reeds), Rick Margitza (tenor sax), Scott Robinson (reeds), Tony Kadleck (trumpet, flugelhorn), Greg Gisbert (trumpet, flugelhorn), Laurie Frink (trumpet, flugelhorn), Tim Hagans (trumpet, flugelhorn), John Fedchock (trombone), Keith O'Quinn (trombone), Larry Farrell (trombone), George Flynn (trombone), Ben Monder (guitar), Kenny Werner (piano), Jay Anderson (bass), Dennis Mackrel (drums).

Composed, arranged and conducted by Maria Schneider


Recorded: New York, September 1992


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Maria Schneider honors her mentor Gil Evans -- whom she assisted in various musical pursuits during the last three years of his life -- with her glorious composition "Evanescence." The essence of Evans, his visionary contribution, was replacing the battling sections of the big band era (trumpets versus trombones versus saxes) with a streamlined conception in which different instruments blend together as a choir. Under his guidance, big band music moves from a war metaphor to a new role model, one rich in spiritual overtones. Maria Schneider, who formed her own band in 1989, builds on this same holistic image of large ensemble as a coming together of individual voices. Her horn writing on "Evanescence" is brightly colored and richly textured, like a tapestry which reveals more fine details the closer you examine it. Check out (to cite one example) her clever underpinning to Tim Hagans' solo. But Schneider is equally gifted at writing yearning melodies with their big interval leaps and declamatory phrases. This composition would sound good played by a squeezebox and fiddle. But with all the tools at her command, Schneider reaches for the stars.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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