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Centennial - Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans

4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Newly discovered music of Gil Evans!

Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ArtistShare
  • ASIN: B0083A35NI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,204 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Ryan Truesdell's "Centennial" is based on some newly discovered compositions by the late, great Gil Evans, who is perhaps known best
for his collaborations with Miles Davis (Porgy & Bess, Sketches of Spain). Unfortunately, Amazon cannot seem to get it together to locate some copies of this hot recording, and so has been unable to offer it for sale.
Fortunately, NPR saw fit to make the album available for listening, in its entirety, for free.
You can find that free listen here [...] which, in case the URL is deleted, is simply the Ryan Truesdell website website, which is just his name in lower-case all runtogether (like this: ryantruesdell), with the obligatory dot com and back-slash added at the end.
So, until you can get your hot little hands on this cool little recording, check it out!
How COOL is that?! Five stars, indeed.
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Format: Audio CD
Rummaging in unrecorded archives, like many treasure hunts, can get mixed results. Sometimes there is a good reason that a particular chart did not make an LP: worthy but insufficient space on the vinyl, or orphaned because it did not fit in with other compositions; half-baked that never developed with reconsideration; sketches or merely frameworks; or a concept gone wrong or not viable from the outset. Thus, when Ryan Truesdell had access to the Gil Evan archives, he found material of various quality, some charts from the 1940s Claude Thornhill Orchestra, others from the Evans bands of the 1960s and 1970s. Now, the Gil Evan sound is recognizable from the arrangements, the particular instrumental combinations, ornamental flourishes, and certain harmonies. A bland tune can be charted to capture interest. So, what about the selections on this album? They follow the more abstract style found in the album The Individualism of Gil Evans than the more popular Out of The Cool. Two tracks are revisited: The Maids of Cadiz in an early approach, and Kurt Weill's Barbara Song featuring Joe Locke on vibraphone. We are also treated with three actual songs, vocalized by Kate McGarry (Smoking My Sad Ciagrette), Wendy Gilles (Beg Your Pardon) and Luciana Souza (Look to the Rainbow). Truesdell assembled a huge orchestra of 32 musicians, who under his baton, give a fine representation of Evans' hand. The incorporation of the tabla in Punjab (not envisioned by Evan) was the perfect improvement that made the lead-in track a winner. The album, a mixed bag, is a fan-funded effort; ArtistShare, like Kickstarter, echo the 19th-century approach to publishing by advanced subscriptions. Thus, the album is a labor of love. The package inserts include photographs, discussion, and documentation. The Gil Evans Project is a commendable honor of the composer and arranger.
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Format: Audio CD
Gil Evans, born 102 years ago this year, was a visionary whose acute ear and profound aural imagination created a sound world that was both rich and strange. While critics and fellow musicians rated him as second only to Duke Ellington as a jazz orchestrator, Gil was diffident in the worldly matter of managing his career. As a result, many potentially wonderful projects were never fully realised. With the support of Maria Schneider, who worked with Gil during his final years, American composer Ryan Truesdell has doggedly pursued and discovered a multitude of lost scores, the manuscripts of which were held in the Evans family archive. This album, appropriately entitled Centennial, presents for the first time a selection of these. They are expertly performed and recorded and feature top-class vocalists and instrumental soloists. The committed quality of the performances here serve to remind us that like Duke Ellington, Gil wrote principally not to show off his skills, but to highlight those of his soloists. However, the presence of previously unheard material by a master arranger inevitably forms the main attraction of this album.
Centennial covers Gil's career starting from the 1940s, when he worked with the Claude Thornhill Orchestra. During the 1950s, his writing developed beyond the easy-listening swing-based style of that band and found an identity expressed in seminal albums with Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis and Helen Merrill. The 1960s saw further developments, creating large canvases of slow-moving harmony and employing a looser style of writing that allowed soloists to stretch out and develop ideas at length. This album features tracks from all three decades.
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Format: Audio CD
I love this CD ! Great work by a very talent Ryan Truesdale . And the vocalist are great as well . He won a Grammy .Finally someone who is worthy of a Grammy , wins a Grammy .
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Format: Audio CD
I cannot believe the time and effort it took to put this album together. Rummaging through years and years of music, and then having to put it all together?! Unbelievable. It's interesting to see how the arrangements that were previously recorded are far from complete. There are entire new orchestrations of "The Maids of Cadiz" and "Barbara Song" that really complete the original recordings. The essence of Gil Evans lives through this album. Would highly recommend.
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