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Out Of The Cool
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Out of the Cool ________________________________________________

The Gil Evans Orchestra
Out Of The Cool


1. La Nevada (15:33)
(G. Evans) BMI

2. Where Flamingos Fly (5:11)
(H. Courlander – E. Thea – J. Brooks) BMI

3. Bilboa Song (4:10)
(K. Weill – B. Brecht) ASCAP

4. Stratusphunk (8:00)
(G. Russell) BMI

5. Sunken Treasure (4:15)
(G. Evans) BMI

This is the Gil Evans Orchestra that made its initial appearance at the Jazz Gallery in New York City toward the end of 1960. After having experimented with many different instrumentational formats, Gil has settled on this one as affording the most flexible outlet for his musical ideas. His taste for developments in all music is evidenced by his choice of material, his selection of personnel and by his compositional style. While some composer-arrangers in the jazz field tend to overwrite in proportion to the time they spend and the techniques they learn, Evans seems to be headed in the opposite direction. Always aware of the importance of the improvised solo, his supporting material is never overbearing. Indeed, a considerable portion of the scores he has written for his present group have been virtually nothing more than sketches. (La Nevada is a prime example In this album). Sometimes an idea will come to fruition at the recording session itself. The slap-tongued saxophones (Stratusphunk) and the opening rubato section of Bilbao came about in this manner.


Gil Evans, Piano
Ray Crawford, Guitar
Ron Carter, Trombone
Keg Johnson, Trombone
Jimmy Knepper, Trombone
Tony Studd, Bass Trombone
Bill Barber, Tuba
Charlie Persip, Percussion
Elvin Jones, Percussion
John Coles, Trumpet
Ray Beckenstein – Alto Sax, Flute & Piccolo on “La Nevada” and “Bilboa Song”
Eddie Caine – Alto Sax, Flute & Piccolo on “Sunken Treasure,” “Stratusphunk” & “Where Flamingos Fly”
Budd Johnson – Tenor & Soprano Saxes
Bob Tricarico – Bassoon, Flute & Piccolo

Recorded in 1961

Producer: Creed Taylor

Liner Notes: Tom Stewart
Photos: Arnold Newman
Art Direction: Jeff Adamoff
Design: Steeleworks

(Gil Evans)

LA NEVADA (Snowfall, in Spanish) is based upon a simple four-bar theme which Gil has used before. It moves back and forth from G minor seventh to G major in the melody but remains in G minor through-out the solos, much in the same way that a single chord (the dominant seventh) is often used as a base for improvisation in some Latin-American dance music. This performance is wholly improvised with the exception of the theme, which is notated for the trombone section and then the entire ensemble. The long opening is a vamp-like section with the rhythm entering individually. Gil makes use of the maracas here to reinforce the basic cymbal figure. Fragments of the theme are stated by muted trumpets and flute and then piano. The complete theme follows and sets the pattern for extended solos by John Coles (trumpet), Tony Studd (bass trombone), Budd Johnson (tenor), Ron Carter (string bass), and Ray Crawford (guitar). A restatement of the theme ends the performance. This is a fine example of Evan's approach to striking a balance between the written and the improvised.

* * * * *

(H. Courlander, E. Thea, J. B. Brooks)

WHERE FLAMINGOS FLY is a lovely piece by John Benson Brooks which features the solo trombone work of Jimmy Knepper. Notice the haunting four-note figure (played by piano, flute and guitar) which recurs throughout over a three-note tuba, string bass pat· tern. The use of the tambourine in the middle improvised section shows Gil's penchant for varied rhythmic, as well as harmonic, textures.

* * * * *

(Kurt Weill, Bert Brecht)

Kurt Weill's BILBAO comes from the production Happy End, which apparently is not well-known in this country. The last eight bars of the melody are played first by unison trumpet, guitar and soprano saxophone in rubato fashion. Some degree of tension is achieved as this line moves down In half steps against a tonic pedal point (C) and a sustained E in the flute. The complete melody then appears as a string bass solo. A second chorus gives us another example of Evans' rich ensemble style of scoring. A novel percussion instrument will be heard in this section. Devised by Bill Loughborough of Sausalito, California, it produces five tones (B – C# - E – F# - G# and the octave B) and is played with mallets made of small rubber balls. The effect sounds somewhat like a string bass being fingered in the upper register and having its strings hit with a drum stick instead of plucked.

* * * * *

(George Russell)

George Russell’s Lydian Concept as applied to the twelve-bar blues comes out here as STRATUSPHUNK. The bass line is introduced first on bass trombone then switches, almost imperceptibly, to string bass part-way through the second chorus. The theme appears next (actually it is slap-tongued by the saxophones in the second chorus, a technique of fingering the notes and otherwise going through the motions, but without producing the sound). In the fourth chorus a third figure is introduced into the full ensemble to produce a fine "walking" effect like a Jazz march. Solos by Ray Crawford (guitar)and John Coles (trumpet) follow. The takeout choruses assume the pattern of the opening four in reverse.

* * * * *

(Gil Evans)

The thematic material for SUNKEN TREASURE is harmonic and rhythmic. John Coles supplies the melodic content in his improvised solo over a background of low-voiced triads in the trombones.

– TOM STEWART, New York, N.Y. - January, 1961
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