Miles Davis: Moon Dreams (live)
Moon Dreams (live)
Miles Davis Nonet
The Complete Birth of the Cool (Capitol Jazz 94550)
Mike Zwerin (trombone), Addison “Junior” Collins (French horn), Bill Barber (tuba), Al McKibbon (bass).
Composed by Johnny Mercer & Chalmers MacGregor. Arranged by Gil Evans.
Recorded: live at the Royal Roost, New York, September 4, 1948
Rating: 84/100 (learn more)
Claude Thornhill's big band featured extended medleys for dancing. One of these, arranged by Gil Evans, consisted of "Easy Living," "Everything Happens to Me," and "Moon Dreams." Extracted for what was perhaps the Miles Davis Nonet's first arrangement, "Moon Dreams" is essentially a re-orchestration of Gil's Thornhill arrangement, with a few changes in harmony. Incidentally, Evans originally envisioned clarinet instead of alto sax in the instrumentation, and while such a part exists, the Nonet (here actually an octet with pianist John Lewis sitting out) settled on alto sax. This live recording comes from a broadcast at the Royal Roost during the ensemble's only extended live gig. The band never did play this arrangement – one of Evans's most dissonant settings to that time – correctly; when it was over, audiences must have been totally bewildered.
Reviewer: Jeff Sultanof