Michael Fremer Rated 9/10 Music, 8/10 Sonics!
The brilliant arranger, composer, and pianist Gil Evans had already collaborated with Miles Davis on Birth of the Cool and Miles Ahead and made his own debut album Gil Evans & Ten for Prestige when he signed with World Pacific Records in 1958 and made the first of two albums for the label: New Bottle Old Wine with featured soloist Cannonball Adderley. The next year Evans was back in the studio to record the follow-up Great Jazz Standards with two different ensembles featuring the likes of trumpeter Johnny Coles, trombonists Curtis Fuller and Jimmy Cleveland, soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Budd Johnson, guitarist Ray Crawford, drummer Elvin Jones, and others. As the title promises, the album presents a program of great jazz standards leading off with Bix Beiderbecke's "Davenport Blues," a showcase for Coles, before launching into a shimmering version of Thelonious Monk's "Straight No Chaser" where Coles, Lacy, Fuller, and Evans all get the spotlight. A stunning presentation of Fran Landesman and Tommy Wolf's "Ballad of the Sad Young Men" and a no-nonsense take on Clifford Brown's "Joy Spring" close out the first side. On the flipside, John Lewis' "Django" gets an impressionistic arrangement full of surprises, while a modernistic version of Don Redman's "Chant of the Weed" is a solo vehicle for Johnson's clarinet. The album culminates with a soaring performance of the Evans original "Theme," later known as "La Nevada."
The Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series was born out of Blue Note President Don Was' admiration for the exceptional audiophile Blue Note LP reissues presented by Music Matters. Was brought Joe Harley, a.k.a. the "Tone Poet," on board to curate and supervise a series of reissues from the Blue Note family of labels.
Extreme attention to detail has been paid to getting these right in every conceivable way, from the jacket graphics and printing quality to superior LP mastering (direct from the master tapes) by Kevin Gray to superb 180g audiophile LP pressings by Record Technology Inc. Every aspect of these Tone Poet releases is done to the highest possible standard. It means that you will never find a superior version. This is IT.
This stereo Tone Poet Vinyl Edition was produced by Joe Harley, mastered by Kevin Gray (Cohearent Audio) from the original analog master tapes, pressed on 180g vinyl at Record Technology Inc. (RTI), and packaged in a deluxe tip-on jacket.
Another worthwhile Blue Note 'Tone Poet' series issue I'm glad I bought! A 'must have' for Gil Evans fans and a 'probably should have' for many others.
- 180g Vinyl LP
- Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series
- Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio
- Mastered from the Original Analog Tapes
- Pressed at RTI
- Deluxe Tip-On Jacket
"Chant of the Weed," "Joy Spring," "Ballad of the Sad Young Men," "Theme"
|Earl Chapin||French horn|
|Steve Lacy||soprano sax|
|Budd Johnson||tenor sax, clarinet|
"Davenport Blues," "Django," "Straight No Chaser"
|Bob Northern||French horn|
|Steve Lacy||soprano sax|
- Davenport Blues
- Straight No Chaser
- Ballad of the Sad Young Men
- Joy Spring
- Chant of the Weed