2 wonderful late 50s sessions from arranger Gil Evans – both of which we'd rank right up there with his best work with Miles Davis, or the albums under his own name for Impulse in the 60s! The first half of the CD is from the album New Bottle Old Wine – a record of swinging modern backdrops, used to showcase both the solo talents of a young Cannonball Adderley, and the dynamic energy of Evans himself! Cannon's sharp-edged early tone is a really great sound for the record – far more modern than you might expect from later funk and soul sides of the 60s – and perfectly poised next to Gil's larger back drops to reignite a host of older tunes with new energy! And while the titles are familiar, the readings certainly are not – as the Evans pen has really changed things up beautifully – as you'll hear on numbers that include "St Louis Blues", "King Porter Stomp", "Willow Tree", "Struttin' With Some Barbeque", "Lester Leaps In", "Round About Midnight", "Manteca", and "Bird Feathers". Great Jazz Standards is equally great, a fantastic lost set from Evans – and one that features Mingus trumpeter Johnny Coles as the lead soloist in front of Evans-led modern groups that include players like Elvin Jones, Ray Crawford, Steve Lacy, Budd Johnson, Rod Levitt, and Chuck Wayne. Despite the "standards" in the title, most of these numbers are modern tunes from the 50s – like "Joy Spring", "Ballad Of The Sad Young Men", "Django", "Straight No Chaser", and "Chant Of The Weed" – all given Evans' unique style of arrangement, tweaked up a few notches to give them a really edgey quality. Coles is clearly standing in for Miles here, but the format
works well overall! CD features 15 tracks in all, including some newly-improved versions of a few tracks, correcting mistakes in the original records!