Top positive review
15 people found this helpful
on 10 February 2013
This compilation presents four former vinyl albums, happily in chronological order (not always the case with Avid reissues). "New Bottle Old Wine" was recorded over four sessions in 1958, with a fourteen piece orchestra. "Great Jazz Standards" dates from early 1959, and "Out of the Cool" from late 1960. Nat Hentoff's original sleeve notes for the 1961 album "Into the Hot" made it clear that although it was billed as by the Gil Evans Orchestra, the performance was turned over to John Carisi and Cecil Taylor, whose orchestras took three numbers apiece, under Gil's aegis.
These recordings are a logical progression of Gil's earlier arrangements, first for Claude Thornhill, then later for Miles Davis, albeit applied to larger groupings. He had the ability to meld the various instruments so as to produce a sonic kaleidoscope, the effect of which was heightened by the use of chromatics. The first CD is devoted to his transformation of jazz standards, and "Lester Leaps In", "Chant of the Weed" and "Davenport Blues" deserve special mention. "Out of the Cool" was his most acclaimed album, and it's hard to see how this composite reissue could be bettered as an exhibition of his art.