Featured in Michael Fremer's Heavy Rotation in the February 2012 Issue of Stereophile!
180g LP Remastered by Ron McMaster at Capitol Studios! Pressed at Pallas in Germany!
Great Jazz Standards was recorded when Evans was red-hot from two successes
with Miles Davis, Miles Ahead and Porgy And Bess.
Evans' signature brass choir is in place — creatively voiced, spaciously
arranged, a supple, multi-coloured, sonically surprising counterpoint to a
succession of superb soloists. The added bonus, for Evans' projects, is the
foregrounding of saxophone and clarinet soloists Steve Lacy and Budd Johnson.
Lacy and the original swing-to-bop missing link, Johnson, are the ones who will
make the hair on your neck curl.
Lacy's solos on Monk's "Straight No Chaser" and John Lewis' "Django" must be
some of the finest pre-free improvisations he recorded, already heading from
quirky to out-there. Johnson's clarinet solo on Don Redman's spooky,
swing-meets-whole tone classic, "Chant Of The Weed," and slow-burning, stirring
tenor solo on Evans' "La Nevada" are some of the finest the all-but-forgotten
genius ever recorded. Trumpeter Johnny Coles, has the inevitable misfortune of
being compared to Miles Davis and being found to be... different. Sunny, open
and extroverted, he may not be a stylist of Davis' proportions, but he's an
enjoyable alternative foil for Evans' arrangements.
A magnificent but neglected album, and still coming up fresh as daisies.
"Pure Pleasure’s musical archeological digs have managed to find some interesting obscurities, this Gil Evans session from 1959 being one of them. It certainly deserves to be brought to your attention...an atmospheric, cinematic approach to playing and arranging that is as startling and evocative today as it must have been back in 1959...if you appreciate this arranger’s art and wish to hear it realized fully through a series of mostly recognizable jazz standards packed with great soloing, your listening will be well-rewarded." - Michael Fremer, analogplanet
• Limited Edition 180g Vinyl
• Pressed at Pallas in Germany
• Audiophile Remastering
• Re-mastering by Ron McMaster at Capitol Studios
Dick Carter, bass (A1, A2, B1)
Tommy Potter, bass (A3, A4, B2, B3)
Dennis Charles, drums (A1, A2, B1)
Elvin Jones drums (A3, A4, B2, B3)
Earl Chapin, French horn (A3, A4, B2, B3)
Bob Northern, French horn (A1, A2, B1)
Chuck Wayne, guitar (A1, A2, B1)
Ray Crawford, guitar (A3, A4, B2, B3)
Steve Lacy, soprano saxophone
Budd Johnson, tenor saxophone, clarinet (A3, A4, B2, B3)
Bill Elton, trombone (A1, A2, B1)
Curtis Fuller, trombone (A1, A2, B1)
Dick Lieb, trombone (A1, A2, B1)
Jimmy Cleveland, trombone (A3, A4, B2, B3)
Rod Levitt, trombone (A3, A4, B2, B3)
Allen Smith, trumpet (A1, A2, B1)
Danny Stiles, trumpet (A3, A4, B2, B3)
Johnny Coles, trumpet
Louis Mucci, trumpet
Bill Barber, tuba
Al Block, woodwind (A1, A2, B1)
Ed Caine, woodwind (A3, A4, B2, B3)
Gil Evans, piano, conductor
1. Davenport Blues
2. Straight No Chaser
3. Ballad of the Sad Young Men
4. Joy Spring
2. Chant of the Weed
3. La Nevada (Theme)
Recorded February 5, 1959