Gil Evans

Arrangers' Touch

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This two-LP set includes the album Gil Evans Plus Ten plus two sessions led by arranger Tadd Dameron. Evans's repertoire includes compositions not only by Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hart and Cole Porter but Leadbelly and Leonard Bernstein. The 11-piece band heard on these 1957 recordings consists of Evans's piano, two trumpets, trombone, bass trombone, French horn, Steve Lacy's soprano, altoist Lee Konitz, bassoon, bass and drums, quite an unusual combination. The music is as colorful as the instrumentation suggests. But actually, the Tadd Dameron sessions are the main reason to search for this two-fer. Four titles (plus an alternate take) feature trumpeter Clifford Brown in a nonet in 1953 and the other four performances have an octet that includes trumpeter Kenny Dorham and such classics as "Fontainebleau" and "The Scene Is Clean." It's highly recommended.