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Collaboration: Helen Merrill - Gil Evans - 1988

Posted By: mfrwiz
Collaboration: Helen Merrill - Gil Evans - 1988

Collaboration: Helen Merrill - Gil Evans - 1988
Lossless (WavPack Image File + Cue + Log + Wavpack Files Check Utility Included): 253 Mb | EAC Secure Mode Rip | Mp3 (Fraunhofer IIS - 320 kbps): 153 Mb | HQ Scans | Rar Files (3% Recovery)
Audio CD (May 16, 1988) Recorded: August 18,25,26, 1987 - Number of Discs: 1 - Label: Emarcy - Catalog Number: 834 205 2
Jazz, Vocal Jazz

Product Description: Helen Merrill didn't have to go the cabaret route since she remains a vital contemporary jazz vocalist to this day. So while any number of older singers were recording "songbooks" on Concord, Merrill teamed up once again with arranger Gil Evans to reprise their 1956 triumph DREAM OF YOU, Evans first full-scale arranging job before he joined forces with Miles Davis for MILES AHEAD. So COLLABORATION is a re-recording of DREAM OF YOU, using the same arrangments and tunes with the addition of "Summertime," which had become a Merrill specialty by this time. And the 1988 album is no failed experiment or museum piece but a bonafide contemporary jazz album of the '80s, just as forward looking as DREAM OF YOU was in its time. Since this post is following the Rosemary Clooney-Johnny Mercer set, compare the two versions of "Anyplace I Hang My Hat Is Home, and hear how Helen Merrill can still point to the way to future interpretations.

Short Helen Merrill Biography: A fine singer with a warm, expressive voice, Helen Merrill's infrequent recordings tend to be quite special with plenty of surprises and chance-taking. She started singing in public in 1944 and was with the Reggie Childs Orchestra during 1946-1947.
Collaboration: Helen Merrill - Gil Evans - 1988

Merrill, who was married for a period to clarinetist Aaron Sachs, had opportunities to sit in with some of the top modernists of the time, including Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Bud Powell. She was with Earl Hines in 1952 and started recording regularly for EmArcy in 1954. Her collaboration with Clifford Brown was her first classic. She made several notable EmArcy albums during 1954-1958 (including one in 1956 that helped bring Gil Evans out of retirement); all have been reissued in a large box. After recording for Atco and Metrojazz in 1959, she moved to Italy for the next four years, touring often in Europe and Japan. Back in the U.S., Merrill teamed with pianist/arranger Dick Katz for a pair of notable and unpredictable Milestone dates (1967-1968) and then moved to Japan where she was quite popular. Helen Merrill returned to the United States in the mid-'70s and has since recorded for Inner City, Owl, EmArcy (including a reunion date with Gil Evans) Antilles, and Verve, which released her 2000 album Jelena Ana Milcetic a.k.a. Helen Merrill.

Short Gil Evans Biography: Ian Ernest Gilmore Green. Born: May 13, 1912 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Died: Mar 20, 1988 in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

Collaboration: Helen Merrill - Gil Evans - 1988
Genres: Jazz.
Styles: Modern Big Band, Post-Bop, Fusion, Cool, Progressive Big Band.
Instruments: Leader, Composer, Arranger, Piano.

One of the most significant arrangers in jazz history, Gil Evans' three album-length collaborations with Miles Davis (Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain) are all considered classics. Evans had a lengthy and wide-ranging career that sometimes ran parallel to the trumpeter. Like Davis, Gil became involved in utilizing electronics in the 1970s and preferred not to look back and recreate the past. He led his own band in California (1933-38) which eventually became the backup group for Skinnay Ennis; Evans stayed on for a time as arranger. He gained recognition for his somewhat futuristic charts for Claude Thornhill's Orchestra (1941-42 and 1946-48) which took advantage of the ensemble's cool tones, utilized French horns and a tuba as frontline instruments and by 1946 incorporated the influence of bop. He met Miles Davis (who admired his work with Thornhill) during this time and contributed arrangements of "Moon Dreams" and "Boplicity" to Davis' "Birth of the Cool" nonet.

After a period in obscurity, Evans wrote for a Helen Merrill session and then collaborated with Davis on Miles Ahead. In addition to his work with Miles (which also included a 1961 recorded Carnegie Hall concert and the half-album Quiet Nights), Evans recorded several superb and highly original sets as a leader (including Gil Evans and Ten, New Bottle Old Wine and Great Jazz Standards) during the era. In the 1960s among the albums he worked on for other artists were notable efforts with Kenny Burrell and Astrud Gilberto. After his own sessions for Verve during 1963-64, Evans waited until 1969 until recording again as a leader. That year's Blues in Orbit was his first successful effort at combining acoustic and electric instruments; it would be followed by dates for Artists House, Atlantic (Svengali) and a notable tribute to Jimi Hendrix in 1974. After 1975's There Comes a Time (which features among its sidemen David Sanborn), most of Evans' recordings were taken from live performances. Starting in 1970 he began playing with his large ensemble on a weekly basis in New York clubs. Filled with such all-star players as George Adams, Lew Soloff, Marvin "Hannibal" Peterson, Chris Hunter, Howard Johnson, Pete Levin, Hiram Bullock, Hamiet Bluiett and Arthur Blythe among others, Evans' later bands were top-heavy in talent but tended to ramble on too long. Gil Evans, other than sketching out a framework and contributing his keyboard, seemed to let the orchestra largely run itself, inspiring rather than closely directing the music. There were some worthwhile recordings from the 1980s (when the band had a long string of Monday night gigs at Sweet Basil in New York) but in general they do not often live up to their potential. Prior to his death, Gil Evans recorded with his "arranger's piano" on duets with Lee Konitz and Steve Lacy and his body of work on a whole ranks with the top jazz arrangers.
Collaboration: Helen Merrill - Gil Evans - 1988

Review: In 1956, a year before Miles Ahead, singer Helen Merrill hired the nearly forgotten arranger Gil Evans to write charts for a dozen songs on one of her record dates. In 1987, they had a reunion, and 11 of the 12 numbers (with "Summertime" taking the place of "You're Lucky to Me") were recorded again. Rather than just a re-creation album, this project found Evans writing fresh arrangements, utilizing three very different ten-pieces: one with a woodwind quintet, another with six horns, and a third that included five strings. This inspired outing, one of the most rewarding sets of Helen Merrill's later years, was also one of Evans' last great dates and one of his few post-1972 classics. 57 at the time, Merrill is in superb form on such numbers as "Where Flamingos Fly," "A New Town Is a Blue Town," "By Myself" and "Anyplace I Hang My Hat Is Home." A highly recommended CD.
Collaboration: Helen Merrill - Gil Evans - 1988
Track Listing:
01 - Summertime - 4:31
02 - Where flamingo's fly - 3:11
03 - Dream of you - 2:55
04 - I'm a fool to want you - 4:35
05 - Troubled waters - 3:29
06 - I'm just lucky so and so - 3:13
07 - People will say we're in love - 2:54
08 - By myself - 3:42
09 - Anyplace I hang my hat is home - 4:58
10 - I've never seen - 4:23
11 - He was too good to me - 3:19
12 - Anew town is blue town - 3:38

TT: 44.45

Personnel:
Helen Merrill: vocal
Gil Evans : arranger, conductor

GIL EVANS ORCHESTRA:
Lew Soloff: trumpet
Shunzo Ono: trumpet, flugelhorn
Jimmy Knepper: trombone
Dave Taylor: bass trombone
Danny Bank: flute, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone
Phil Bodner: flute, alto flute, bass clarinet, woodwinds
Jerry Dodgion: flute, soprano saxophone
Chris Hunter: flute, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, clarinet, oboe
Wally Kane: bass clarinet, bassoon
Roger Rosenberg: bass clarinet
Gil Goldstein: piano, keyboards
Joe Beck: guitar
Jay Berliner: guitar
Buster Williams: bass
Mel Lewis: drums, percussion

STRINGS:
Harry Lookofsky: violin, tenor violin
Lamar Alsop: violin, viola
Theodore Israel: viola
Harold Colletta: viola
Jesse Levy: cello

SPECIAL GUEST SOLOIST:
Steve Lacy: soprano saxophone (on 1,9)


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