Gil Evans: The Barbara Song


The Barbara Song


Gil Evans (piano, arranger)


The Individualism of Gil Evans (Verve 833 804-2)

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Gil Evans (piano, arranger), Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), Gary Peacock (bass), Elvin Jones (drums),

Frank Rehak (trombone), Ray Alonge, Julius Watkins (French horns), Bill Barber (tuba), Al Block (flute), Andy Fitzgerald (bass flute), George Marge (English horn), Bob Tricarico (bassoon), Bob Maxwell (harp)


Composed by Kurt Weill


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, July 9, 1964


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

Gil Evansí use of space, interesting combinations of instruments, and keen eye for talent are all in evidence on this track recorded in 1964. Using two French horns, trombone, tuba, flute, bass flute, English Horn, bassoon, and harp, with himself on piano, Gary Peacock on bass, Elvin Jones on drums, and Wayne Shorter on tenor sax, Evans conjures a spooky stillness on this piece from Kurt Weillís Three-Penny Opera. The melody moves around the band, with each section of the piece featuring a different lead voice or section of the ensemble, with Evansís piano commenting and complimenting before he drops out altogether. Shorter enters about halfway through the track, playing minimally and quietly, with suspense. Itís dark, subtly veiled music, showcasing Evansís arranging abilities to their fullest.

Reviewer: Frank Kimbrough (for Desert Island Dozens)

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