The Gil Evans Orchestra: “La Nevada” (1961)

Leader: Gil Evans; Album: Out of the Cool; Producer: Creed Taylor; Genre: Jazz; Label: Impulse!; Recorded Date: November 18 & 30, December 10 & 15, 1960; Release Date: February 1961.

Track Listing: (1) “La Nevada” (Gil Evans); (2) “Where Flamingos Fly” (Elthea Peale, Harold Courlander, John Benson Brooks); (3) “Bilbao Song” (Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill); (4) “Stratusphunk” (George Russell); (5) “Sunken Treasure” (Evans).

Gil Evans (piano); Johnny Coles (trumpet); Phil Sunkel (trumpet); Keg Johnson (trombone); Jimmy Knepper (trombone); Tony Studd (bass trombone); Bill Barber (tuba); Ray Beckenstein (alto saxophone, flute, piccolo); Eddie Caine (alto saxophone, flute, piccolo); Budd Johnson (tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone); Bob Tricarico (flute, piccolo, bassoon); Ray Crawford (guitar); Ron Carter (bass); Elvin Jones (drums, percussion); Charli Persip (drums).

Reception:”Evans’ masterpiece under his own name and one of the best examples of jazz orchestration since the early Ellington bands”. (Penguin Guide to Jazz).

The music here is of a wondrous variety, bookended by two stellar Evans compositions in “La Nevada,” and “Sunken Treasure.” The middle of the record is filled out by the lovely standard “Where Flamingos Fly,” Kurt Weill-Bertolt Brecht’s “Bilbao Song,” and George Russell’s classic “Stratusphunk.” The sonics are alternately warm, breezy, and nocturnal, especially on the 15-plus-minute opener which captures the laid-back West Coast cool jazz feel juxtaposed by the percolating, even bubbling hot rhythmic pulse of the tough streets of Las Vegas. (Tom Jurek, AllMusic)

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