Mike Gibbs + Twelve
Play Gil Evans
After the 20-year-old Mike Gibbs heard the Gil Evans + Ten album in 1957, the music and particularly the arrangements stayed with him, remaining an influence on his own work which has encompassed orchestrations for Joni Mitchell, Whitney Houston and Peter Gabriel as well as much jazz activity. Evans, arguably the greatest arranger in jazz's post-big band era, always strove for colour rather than power and Gibbs captures that understated quality beautifully in these ten tracks, which comprise six of Evans's arrangements and four of Gibbs's own explorations, including a bouncy, freewheeling take on Ornette Coleman's Ramblin'. From the sparely voiced fanfare of Kurt Weill's Bilbao Song through the celebratory reading of Horace Silver's Sister Sadie and on to Rodgers & Hart's lovely Wait Till You See Her, which Evans arranged for Miles Davis's Quiet Nights album and which shimmers here as a feature for Julian Siegel's soprano saxophone, this is not so much an homage as a living, continuing tribute.