Gil Evans Orchestra

Farewell--Live at Sweet Basil

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This CD (plus In Memoriam, another Projazz set taken from the same sessions) contains the last recordings of arranger/pianist Gil Evans with his regular orchestra, other than a set backing rock singer Sting. As was typical for Evans's later-period work, he is content to play quietly while letting his ensemble run somewhat wild. The four pieces, which include the umpteenth remake of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing," are all overly long but not without interest; sidemen include trumpeter Lew Soloff, trombonist Dave Bargeron, John Clark on French horn, altoist Chris Hunter, Bill Evans on tenor and soprano, baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett, guitarist Hiram Bullock and both Peter Levin and Gil Goldstein on synthesizers, while flugelhornist Johnny Coles is a welcome guest. Fans of Gil Evans's 1950s work may not much care for his 1980s electronic band, but this set is fairly coherent and has its exciting moments.