Gil Evans: Up From the Skies

Track

Up From the Skies

Artist

Gil Evans (electric piano)

CD

Live at the Public Theater in New York, Volume 1 (Evidence)

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Musicians:

Gil Evans (electric piano), Jon Faddis (trumpet), George Lewis (trombone), Arthur Blythe (alto, soprano saxes), Hamiet Bluiett (baritone sax, flute), Billy Cobham (drums),

Marvin “Hannibal” Peterson, Lew Soloff (trumpets), Dan Bargeron (trombone, tuba), John Clark (French horn), Masabumi Kikuchi (organ, synthesizer), Pete Levin (synthesizer, clavinet), Tim Landers (electric bass)

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Composed by Jimi Hendrix

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Recorded: live at the Public Theater, New York, February 8-9, 1980

Albumcovergilevans-liveatthepublictheaterinnewyork-volume1

Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

The collaboration that tragically never materialized between master arranger Gil Evans and guitar hero Jimi Hendrix nonetheless produced some pretty significant developments. In 1974, Evans recorded and released The Gil Evans Orchestra Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix, and in so doing (at least in part) legitimized the adoption of the rock tune as the new jazz standard. While many laud Brad Mehldau or BeatleJazz for repeatedly dipping into the rock canon, the man behind the curtain here, as for so many other important developments in jazz history, turns out to be Mr. Evans.

"Up From the Skies" is one of the few Hendrix tunes that Evans continued to play after his 1974 tribute record. Gil's impeccable arrangement simultaneously (1) allows the listener to forget this ever was a rock tune and (2) nods to Hendrix's harmonic conception many of the hip harmonies that Evans has accentuated were ripe for the picking straight from the original version. This astounding group from 1980, featuring Faddis, Lewis, Blythe, Bluiett, Kikuchi and Cobham, makes this the foremost version of an important jazz-rock development.

Reviewer: Eric Novod

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