Bill Evans & Claus Ogerman: Symbiosis
Bill Evans & Claus Ogerman Orchestra
Symbiosis (Pausa 7050)
Bill Evans (piano, electric piano), Marvin Stamm (trumpet), Bernie Glow (trumpet), Irving 'Marky' Markowitz (trumpet), Urbie Green (trombone), Jimmy Buffington (French horn), Phil Woods (alto sax), Jerry Dodgion (alto sax), Hubert Laws (flute), Danny Bank (reeds), Eddie Gomez (bass), Marty Morrell (drums), Ralph MacDonald (percussion),
John Frosk (trumpet), Victor Paz (trumpet), Mel Davis (trumpet), Paul Faulise (bass trombone), Tom Mitchell (bass trombone), Don Butterfield (tuba), Bruce Tillotson (French horn), Earl Chapin (French horn), Ray Alonge (French horn), Al Richman (French horn), Peter Gordon (French horn), Walter Levinsky (alto sax), Harvey Estrin (alto sax), Bill Slapin (flute), Don Hammond (flute), George Marge (oboe), Phil Bodner (oboe), Ron Jannelli (clarinet), Wally Kane (bassoon), Don McCourt (bassoon), George Devens (percussion), Dave Carey (percussion), Doug Allen (percussion), David Nadien (concertmaster).
Composed, arranged and conducted by Claus Ogerman.
Recorded: New York, January 11-14, 1974
Rating: 97/100 (learn more)
Bill Evans was working in familiar territory on most of his 1970s recordings, playing standards and his own compositions with his trio. But many of his fans looked back with fondness at his works from the 1950s when he had been challenged by Miles Davis, John Coltrane, George Russell, Cannonball Adderley, Charles Mingus and other great musical minds in settings not of Evans's own choosing. Symbiosis, a long orchestral composition by Claus Ogerman from 1974, is a throwback to that earlier period. Evans has his familiar friends, bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morrell, in tow, but the music is adventurous and a radical departure from what the pianist normally played in concert. The result is one of the neglected masterpieces of the decade, and a high point in Evans's discography. Ogerman contributes one of the most interesting extended works in the jazz repertoire, and Evans plays at top form. Yet for all its virtues, Symbiosis quickly disappeared from the record stores after its initial release, and it has been years since I have seen a copy anywhere. But thanks to the world of Internet shopping and digital downloads it is now accessible again—and is a must-have for jazz fans who are not familiar with this stellar work.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia