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Anniversaries: Gil Evans Born 100 Years Ago

13 May 2012 9:56 AM, PDT | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

Gil Evans, perhaps the second-greatest arranger in jazz after Duke Ellington, was born Ian Ernest Gilmore Green on May 13, 1912 in Toronto, Canada (Evans was his stepfather's name). Though best known for his collaborations with Miles Davis, Evans released many great albums as a bandleader and created a highly influential style that changed the course of jazz history.

Though self-taught, by age 21 Evans was leading a big band that became the house group at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa Beach. Eventually it was fronted and then led by singer Skinnay Ennis, and Claude Thornhill joined Evans in providing arrangements for them. Thornhill then moved to New York to start his own band, and in 1941 invited Evans to New York to write arrangements. Soon Evans's arrangements with their lush, hazy, floating textures defined the Thornhill style.

Though theoretically a swing band, the Thornhill ensemble was one of the most progressive big bands of its time, »

- SteveHoltje

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1 item from 2012


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