Remixed from the original multitrack
masters by Tony May.
Disc mastering by Jack Adelman
Cover Illustration: Richard Sparks
Art Direction: Pietro Alfieri
Footnote: Gil Evans had lots of good reasons for putting off this digital
remix, and it was always important to slide to a later date. At one point he
suggested that Lew Soloff could sit in and insure that the balances were the
way they were supposed to be, because he was the first trumpeter and new how
things went together. I demurred, preferring the arranger/conducter to even his
best-qualified deputy. As always, Gil's suggestions worked out. So very special
thanks to that dreaded trumpet Viking, Loose Olaf. And, of course, to Gil.
GIL EVANS, keyboard, conductor;
HANNIBAL MARVIN PETERSON, trumpet,
vocal; LEW SOLOFF, trumpet; PETER GORDON,
french horn; PETER LEVIN,synthesizer; TOM MALONE, trombone,
bass trombone, flute, synthesizer; HOWARD JOHNSON, tuba, bass clarinet,
electric bass; DAVID SUNBORN, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; BILLY
HARPER, tenor saxophone, flute; TREVOR KOEHLER, tenor saxophone, alto
saxophone, flute; DAVID HOROWITZ, electric piano, synthesizer; JOHN ABERCROMBIE,
RYO VASAKI, electric guitar; KEITH LOVING, guitar; DON PATE, bass; MICHAEL DRE,
electric and acoustic bass guitar; BRUCE DITMAS, drums; WARREN SMITH, JR.,
vibes, marimba, chimes, Latin percussion; SUSAN EVANS, drums, gas, percussion.
Studio B, New York City, June 11,1974.
Produced by Mike Lipskin. Engineering by Bob
Должен признаться, в этой выкладке, наверное, не столь интересно послушать музыку, сколь почитать воспоминания участников, опубликованные на обложке, попробую выложить по кускам -
The late 60's hurtled by like a meteor, brilliant and mercurial. The turbulence of the times, Vietnam, and a thousand kaleidoscopic images were mirrored by the music of a generation—particularly by the dazzle pf a sound innovator turned rock deity, Jimi Hendrix. By the time of his death in September, 1970, Hendrix' searing influence had begun to singe the edges of the jazz world; Jimi, in turn, was reaching towards something different. In 1969, Hendrix had performed with Roland Kirk and invited such forward-looking players as Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams and organist Larry Young o less-than-formal recording jams—letting his guitar just burn musically, without literally igniting the instrument. Miles Davis, who always has an ear cocked to the street, was counted among Hendrix'ever-expanding circle of musical friends. And Davis, at the time, was once again at the forefront: his music was beginning to sizzle and crackle with the sounds of electronic instruments, amplified by the power and rhythm of rock.
Gil Evans' and Davis' ultra-sensitive musical antennae vibrated at the same frequency throughout their 40-year-long friendship, which continued until Evans' own untimely death this past spring, whether or not they were actively working together. Evans' music began to ripple and roar with the spirit of the late 60's in the band that he had re-formed then, emerging from a publicly inactive musical period of a couple of years. His earlier, exquisitely detailed scores began to give way to looser structures and forms, calling for bursts of collective and individual improvisation, seasoned with his startling use of percussion and synthesizers. These sonic adventures were guided by Evans' keen ear and uncanny ability to mold the band into an emotional instrument. Jimi's music rang with the kind of musical cry that always prompted Evans to open up what he called his "timbre box."
Before Hendrix died, he and Evans had planned to work together on an album—a project that never came to pass. This recording followed on the heels of a 1974Carnegie Hall concert which was the debut of Evans' tribute to Hendrix. If ended up being a different kind of collaboration, because Evans invited the band to help out with the arrangements. Several of these charts became mainstays of the band's performances, most recently on Monday nights at Sweet Basil or on the band's increasingly busy concert circuit. The songs and the band's irrepressible spirit still startled the folks who came expecting Porgy and Bess and found "Little Wing" instead, played by one of the most musically seductive, daring—and chaotic—groups around. Like several other of Evans' albums over the past few years, The Gil Evans Orchestra Play the Music of Jimi Hendrix was the kind of record you we re lucky to stumble across in used record stores or garage sales, as it was virtually impossible to find in normal outlets within a year or so of its initial release. Here it is again, this time with its rich and convoluted musical threads miraculously untangled, opening up Evans' and the band's gloriously dense textures.
The music tells its own story, but here a re some recollections by the musicians that helped create this recording, the mid-70's incarnation of the Gil Evans Orchestra.
I started playing with Gil in '66. He hadn't had a band for awhile—he had just recently married Anita, and Noah and Miles(their sons)came soon after. At this point, I'd been in New York about three years and had wanted to meet him, because among other things, he was a tuba player's hero. But nobody knew where he was. Then one night, he came down to the Five Spot when I was playing with Mingus. Anita said later that he was knocked out and started talking about having a band again, and also that he heard unexpected things from the tuba. And he called me!
Miles met Jimi in the late 60's, and I'm sure he turned Gil on to Jimi's music. Then Jimi got in touch with Gil. When the Isle of Wight Festival was going on, I ran into Gil in the street one day. He was really excited, and told me we were going to start working on an album with Hendrix as soon as Jimi got back to the States. A couple of weeks later Jimi passed away.
I remember that during the sessions for this project, the engineer kept trying to change my tuba sound. He didn't want all my distortion because he didn't want people to think he was a bad engineer. But it was supposed to represent Jimi's guitar, loud and blaring, because none of our guitar players could do it; they were too hip and jazzy, even Ryo Kawasaki.
The Carnegie Hall concert was coming up and everybody decided they wanted to write Hendrix charts, and some of us did two or three. It really gave everybody some input into the band. Once Gil established the standard of excellence, we all tried to write up to that, and it pulled us outside of ourselves. He shaped the band and the interpretations, so his personality always came through.
Gil's lines and phrasing were really difficult. He would write something, but wanted it to sound more like the human voice—he'd want fall-offs and shakes and all kinds of fluctuations of time and pitch. You'd have to wait until he sang it for you and imitate that. He molded the sound like it was this elastic piece of clay instead of a chart.
To me, the band always felt like a big band with a small group feeling. Gil was always a little ahead—it was because of how he heard things, his conception of sound and harmony, mixing it with the music of the times. His hearing was so different—he was always hearing things on different instruments than you'd expect. Sometimes I thought that if he had been doing something that was more comfortable for people to hear...they would have been able to hear his music as part of the times, which it also always was.
He had such a special area that he dealt in, that harmonically could touch people's emotions, and it's very hard to get to that. That was Gil's special area to me. He never seemed like a professional-style musician, he was more like a perennial caravan—and so the rehearsals and performances felt like that. The music kind of had a life of its own
I started working with Gil when I was about 17 or 18.1 had been studying with Warren for five years or so. Gil used to go up to Warren's studio to rehearse, and our paths crossed often. Sometimes when Warren was out of town, Gil would be there playing the piano and I'd go up there to practise and we started practising together. At that point I didn't even know how great he was. So I wasn't intimidated and I was able to just sit and practise with him for hours, If that had happened years later, I would have tried to second-guess what he wanted.
Then Gil started getting ready to do an album and asked me to join the band. Not only was it my first record date, it was Gil Evans, and Elvin Jones was there! Everytime I get interviewed about being a woman musician...well, looking back, it's like I had blinders on. I probably didn't even know how to spell the word discrimination. I just plowed ahead like I was drunk or something. Gil was there, in my life, and I just thought, "Why not?"
Everyone thought Gil was my father for the 8 or 10 years I played with him, and in a sense he was. I was growing up in that band. He kind of found something in me I didn't know was there and we explored it together. And that's how he really was with the whole band.
When I joined the band in 1970, it was a real transitional period for Gil. We still played a lot of his older music, like "King Porter Stomp" and things from Porgy and Bess, but he was just beginning to stretch out into rock. I was shocked because I loved his older music so much.
I had been deeply involved with synthesizers as a composer, writing underground filmscore sand wacko avant-garde things. But playing with Gil was the first time I used them live. In those days, they didn't mean so much in a live performance, because they weren't polyphonic. Being in Gil's band really made me re-think the applications, and I came up with a lot of home-made modifications. The band had a lot of color to begin with—the way Gil wrote and the personnel. But as time went on, synthesizers became more prevalent in the band, and other people started bringing them to the gigs. It got pretty wild, but Gil liked that because it gave him ideas
Hannibal Peterson brought me into the band in 1972. It was really improvisational— and the sound had changed, the textures. Gil's unison lines began to characterize the band's sound, and so did percussion and electronics. Dave Horowitz was probably the first jazz synthesizer player I ever knew about.
Gil always gave the musicians ultimate freedom in that band. A musician was playing with the band for the first time one night, and he was a little confused as to what was going on and finally he asked Gil, "What's happening? When do I play a solo? "Gil said this to him: "If you feel like playing a solo, just stand up and play. If you don't feel like playing a solo, don't stand up and play. If somebody else is already standing up and playing a solo, and you feel like playing, stand up and play. If the band is playing the melody of the arrangement, and you feel like standing up and playing, just stand up and play."
The Carnegie Hall concert was utterly chaotic, because electric instruments just don't sound good in Carnegie Hall and we had all those synthesizers and three guitar players—the sound was horrendous. And the sessions were just as crazy. There was no way to get a headphone mix, it was a total mess. But even so, Jimi's music had certainly never sounded quite like that before
I remember rehearsing with the band down at Westbeth for the first time, and Tony Williams was playing with him then. It might have been in 72.1 was really into effects, and Gil was so open to that. He allowed me to fit all the different parts of my weird personality into the band, which is what he did with everyone's. And since there were such unusual and, sometimes, conflicting personalities, it created such a colorful band. And...sometimes we actually played his music right. That was the rare thing. The band often sounded great, but more often than not it just sounded wild—kind of on the verge of going out of control.
Gil really sided with the rhythm section a lot. The horns would play really long solos, eating up all the time. Gil finally said, "What we have here is a horn conspiracy." And he looked up at me and said, "You play more. When they start to play, you play." It was like a plot. Let's get 'em. Sometimes there were actual little fights on the stage to vie for space. On the Hendrix sessions, the guitar players were just given license to kill, whatever we wanted. It was the only time I ever played with two other guitar players and the only time I ever played the music of Jimi Hendrix. It just wasn't something I would have thought about on my own.
He was a true master of color and what he liked to do was to think of the person...like, he didn't think of a tuba, he thought of Howard Johnson. He didn't think bass clarinet-he thought Howard. He didn't think of a saxophone sound, he thought George Adams. And that's the way you hear it.
People would come to see us and hear all his unisons and say, "Why isn't he writing something?" They didn't understand that he wrote unisons with a flair—and believe me, at rehearsals, he got pretty tough with those unisons. Because it wasn't as if he wanted you to play like a machine or a perfect band playing a unison chart. That wasn't what he was after at a II. He was after the particular people he hired singing this thing together in their own very individual manner.
Gil approached harmony from an emotional standpoint—he wanted the notes that felt a certain way. If he was after something ironic, or that had to have a twist or a pain in it, he'd put the dissonance there to let you feel that emotion.
But the main thing was that Gil was willing to open the music up and keep expanding things. You never thought about age with Gil. You could see an aging body, but the mind was so young, and the ideas were so modern and revolutionary. Even politically, he was so far to the left of the general population. And I think all these things came out in his music.
The thing that really changed wasn't so much the dependency on the soloists as the non-dependency on the arrangements. Pretty soon we were doing things that had no arrangements at all, that were just unisons and I didn't always like that very much. He was of the opinion, up until last year or so ago, that people made too much of a fuss over his arrangements. And he was embarrassed by that. Sometimes I think he got out of touch with what a great arranger he was and forgot what he could do. I to he should stop being so embarrassed by the idea, because whatever he thoug his music touched people really deeply
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