Gil Evans: Stratusphunk




The Gil Evans Orchestra


Out of the Cool (Impulse IMPD-186)

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Gil Evans (piano, arranger), Johnny Coles (trumpet), Ray Crawford (guitar), Ron Carter (bass), Charlie Persip (drums), Elvin Jones (percussion),

Phil Sunkel (trumpet); Jimmy Knepper, Keg Johnson (trombones); Tony Studd (bass trombone); Bill Barber (tuba); Eddie Caine (flute, piccolo, alto saxophone) Budd Johnson (tenor saxophone); Bob Tricarico (bassoon, flute, piccolo)


Composed by George Russell.


Recorded: November 18, 1960


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Gil Evans and George Russell first paced together in Birth of the Cool's modernity ward—the late-1940s salon in Gil's unheated, one-room, Manhattan basement apartment behind a Chinese laundry. Even then they were forward-thinkers. No surprise that they should figure in this early masterwork of Space Age Jazz. "Stratusphunk" is a blues with a walking bass that Evans ingeniously assigns to bass trombone, gradually leading to a slap-tongued saxophone theme (where the instruments are audibly fingered and tongued but not blown) that's as spacey as the electronic music in Hollywood's sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet (1956). And Gil didn't need a roomful of overwrought oscillators!

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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