Gil Evans: La Nevada


La Nevada


Gil Evans (piano)


Out of the Cool (Impulse IMP11862)

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Gil Evans (piano), Johnny Coles (trumpet), Jimmy Knepper (trombone), Ron Carter (bass), Charlie Persip (drums, percussion), Elvin Jones (drums, percussion),

Phil Sunkel (trumpet), Keg Johnson (trombone), Tony Studd (bass trombone), Bill Barber (tuba), Ray Beckenstein (alto sax, flute, piccolo), Bob Tricarico (bassoon, flute, piccolo), Ray Crawford (guitar)


Composed and arranged by Gil Evans


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, December, 10, 1960


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

“La Nevada” is Spanish for “Snowfall,” bandleader Claude Thornhill’s theme. Yet in contrast to the airtight orchestrations Gil Evans crafted for Thornhill in the 1940s and for Miles Davis in the ‘50s, “La Nevada” is a well-ventilated head arrangement. Of course, when the head involved is Gil Evans’s, expect no run-of- the-mill run-through. Although somewhat overlong at 15˝ minutes, this convivial track shines a much- needed spotlight on such deserving-of-wider-recognition standbys as Johnny Coles, Tony Studd, Budd Johnson and Ray Crawford—the last-named demonstrating how the guitar, far from getting lost in a big band, can in the right hands be salient.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

Other reviews for this track:


  • 1 Denny Jump // Feb 18, 2009 at 05:32 PM
    To me, this track and, really, the entire session, still excites me as much as it did when I first heard it as a 13 year old Northern California kid (yes 13) listening to Wes Bowen's jazz program on KSL from Salt Lake City (clear channel 50k watt). I get chills every time I listen - it definitely carries "big band" jazz out of the cool and into a brand new era. The artists - all of them just absolutely shined on this session.
  • 2 Richard // Jun 07, 2009 at 09:36 PM
    I listened to the Wes Bowen send jazz out across the west as a kid growing up in Spokane, Washington. His show opened me to life.