Porgy and Bess (CL ) is a studio album by jazz musician Miles Davis, released in March on Columbia Records. The album features arrangements by Davis and collaborator Gil Evans from . Davis biographer Jack Chambers described the album as “a new score, with its own integrity, order and action. Download Gil Evans – Porgy & Bess Scores (All in 1). Buy I Loves You Porgy by George Gershwin/arr. Gil As recorded by Miles Davis and Gil Evans on the iconic Po. As recorded by Miles Davis and Gil Evans on the iconic Porgy and Bess album, here is the Preview Score Image.

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Band & Orchestra Music

He is widely recognized as one of the greatest orchestrators in jazz, playing an important role in the development of cool jazzmodal jazz bses, free jazz and jazz fusion. He is best known for his acclaimed collaborations with Miles Davis. Born in TorontoOntarioCanada, his name was changed early on from Green to Evans, the name of his stepfather.

His family moved to Stockton, California where he spent most of his youth. Between andEvans worked zcore an arranger for the Claude Thornhill Orchestra. InEvans, with Miles DavisMulligan, and others, collaborated on a band book for a nonet.

These ensembles, larger than the trio-to-quintet “combos”, but smaller than the “big bands” which were on the ane of economic inviability, allowed arrangers to have a larger pallette of colors by using French horns and tuba. Claude Thornhill had employed hornist John Graas inand composer-arranger Bob Graettinger had scored for horns and tubas yil the Stan Kenton orchestra, but the “Kenton sound” was in the context of a dense orchestral wall of sound that Evans avoided.

Porgy and Bess (Miles Davis album) – Wikipedia

The Davis-led group was booked for a week at the ” Royal Roost ” as an intermission group on the bill with the Count Basie Orchestra. Capitol Records recorded 12 numbers by the nonet at three sessions in and Later, while Davis was under contract with Columbia Recordsproducer George Avakian suggested that Davis could work with any of several arrangers. Davis immediately chose Evans. The three albums that resulted from the collaboration are Miles AheadPorgy and Bessand Sketches of Spain Another collaboration from this period, Quiet Nights was issued later, against the wishes of Davis, who broke with his then-producer Teo Macero for a time as a result.

Although these four records were marketed primarily under Davis’s name and credited to Miles Davis with Orchestra Under the Direction of Gil EvansEvans’s contribution was as important as Davis’s. Their work coupled Evans’s classic big band jazz stylings and arrangements with Davis’s solo playing. Evans also contributed behind the scenes to Davis’ classic quintet albums of the s. The demands of the score for Porgy and Bess were legendary, including the very first note for the lead trumpet.

anr The limited time allotted for rehearsals revealed that the ability to read such a challenging score was not consistent among jazz musicians, and there are many audible errors. Yet the recording is now regarded by many as one of the greatest reinterpretations of Gershwin ‘s music in any musical style, because Evans and Davis were each devoted to going outside the “mainstream” of commercial expectations for jazz musicians.


Evans was a great influence on Davis’s interest in “non-jazz” music, especially orchestral music. Davis had relented after years of refusing to revisit this material, but he was clearly ill, recovering from pneumoniaand trumpeter Wallace Roneywho was mentored by Davis, covered many of the challenging passages.

Davis died before the release of gul album. From onwards Evans recorded albums under his own name. He knew tubist Bill Barber and trumpeter Louis Mucci from Thornhill’s band, and both were stalwarts in Evans’s early ensembles, with Mucci finding a spot on nearly every pres Evans porggy.

In he arranged the big band znd on Kenny Burrell ‘s Guitar Forms album.

His arrangements many already well known to some listeners from their original cabaret, concert hall or Broadway stage arrangements revealed aspects of the music in a wholly original way, sometimes in an unexpected contrast to the original atmosphere of the piece, and sometimes taking a dark ballad such as Weill’s “Barbara Song” into an even darker place. The personnel list for The Individualism of Gil Evansnot only features Bill Barber and hornists James Buffington and Julius Watkins along with two othersevns each section features the cream of the younger some more classically trained evabs who were making their names in jazz.

The presence fil four of the most acclaimed young bassists Richard DavisPaul ChambersRon Carterand Ben Tucker along with veteran Milt Hinton would ordinarily indicate that each is used individually for separate tracks, but Evans’s scores usually required at least two bassists on any given track, some playing arco with the bow and some pizzicato plucking with fingers, the standard jazz method.

These arrangements frequently featured greatly slowed-down tempos with polyrhythmic percussion and no prevailing “beat”. To his by-now standard French horns and tuba, Evans’s scores added alto and bass flutesdouble reedsand harp ; orchestral instruments not associated with “swing” bands, providing a larger pallette of orchestral colors, and porgu him to attain the ethereal quality heard in his arrangements during his Thornhill days. He frequently wrote a part for the tenor violin of Harry Lookofsky.

Yet, this album featured an orchestral arrangement of evns Spoonful ” by bluesman Willie Dixonan early indication of Evans’s breadth and a bsss of things to come. He was discouraged by the commercial direction Verve Records was taking with the Gilberto sessions, and he went into a period of hiatus.

During this period while bess was somewhat depressed about the commercial and logistical difficulties of his previous scoring requirements, his wife suggested that he listen to the guitarist Jimi Hendrix.

Evans developed a particular interest in the work of the rock guitarist. Evans gradually built another orchestra in the s, with none of the coloration instruments from his past arrangements.

Working in the free jazz and jazz-rock idioms, he gained a new generation of admirers. These ensembles, rarely more than fifteen and frequently smaller, allowed him to make more contributions on keyboards, and with the development of truly portable synthesizershe began using these to provide additional color.

Hendrix’s death made porgyy a scheduled meeting with Evans to discuss having Hendrix front a big band led by Evans.

From that date on, Evans’s ensembles featured electric guitars and basses, including a notable collaboration with bassist Jaco Pastorius. In contrast to his intricate scores for large ensembles, which usually required precision orchestral playing wrapping around the “traditional” solo “break”, his later arrangements might feature more or less unison playing by the entire ensemble, such as on Hendrix’s ” Little Wing “, with improvisational touches added throughout by the musicians completely ad libitum.


Live recordings demonstrate that entire pieces were collaborative efforts, and Evans can be heard giving cues from the keyboard behind the band to guide the band into a new section. Before the s, his keyboard playing was sparse on recordings, because the intricacy of his music required that he conduct, but after the s, he gradually moved from the front of the band back “into” the band. Where Flamingos Fly recordedreleased demonstrated his ability to contract the most accomplished musicians, with veterans Coles, Harry ScoteRichard Davis and Jimmy Knepper who played the solo on the “Where Flamingos Fly” track on ‘s Out of the Cool alongside young multi-instrumentalist Howard Johnsonsynthesizer player Don Preston at that time still a member of The Mothers of Inventionand Billy Harper.

This turned out to be a regular Monday night engagement for Evans for nearly five years and also resulted in the release of a number of successful albums by Gil Evans and the Monday Night Orchestra. Evans’s ensemble featured many of the top-call musicians in New York, many of whom were also in anf NBC Saturday Night Live Band and there were many conflicts, so their “deputies” for the night might be other world-class musicians.

Gil Evans Project

Yet Evans was also known to let newcomers pogry in” occasionally, and the band also performed arrangements by band members, current and past.

InEvans recorded a live album with Stingfeaturing big band arrangements of songs by and with The Police. In the same spirit of introducing new talent in his bands, he collaborated with Maria Schneider as an apprentice arranger on this and other final projects. Ryan Truesdell began the Gil Evans Project, which resulted in a CD entitled Centennialfeaturing previously unrecorded compositions and arrangements.

These were produced with the permission of the Gil Evans estate, who gave Truesdell access to these scores and materials. Miles Evans, Gil’s son, also led the Gil Evans Orchestra for a centennial concert at New York’s Highline Ballroomfeaturing many of the musicians heard in the orchestra during Evans’s lifetime.

Evans first married following the Birth of the Cool recording sessions and was survived by his second wife Ebans Cooper and two children, Noah and Miles.

His son Miles played trumpet in his Monday Night Orchestra.

Gil Evans – Porgy & Bess Scores (All in 1)

Evans died of peritonitis in CuernavacaMexico at the age of The New York Times. Retrieved April 25, Retrieved November 16, Out of the Cool: His Life and Music.

Retrieved October 13, Jazzthird streamcool jazzmodal jazzjazz fusionfree jazz. PrestigeWorld PacificImpulse! Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gil Evans.