The harder of the two Gil Evans albums on Impulse to find, and the best – really far
-reaching material that has Evans coming into contact with some of the hippest jazz players of his generation! The record's got three incredible tracks written by Cecil Taylor – a very bold move for Evans, given Taylor's strongly out
reputation even at this point in his career – and possibly even more bold, given that Taylor's on the tracks playing piano, alongside players who include Archie Shepp, Jimmy Lyons, Sonny Murray, and Henry Grimes. The material's fantastic, and is a key part of Taylor's work at the time, and shows a very different setting for his piano – a bit of tension with the larger Evans group, in a way that's almost more compelling than his own early dates as a leader! Taylor titles include "Pots", "Bulbs", and "Mixed". The other tracks on the album were written by John Carisi, who wrote the classic "Israel" for Miles Davis' nine piece group in the late 40s – but who here contributes "Moon Taj", "Angkor Wat", and "Barry's Tune". Carisi's tracks are a bit more subdued, but no less wonderful – and arrangements are by Taylor and Carisi, of their own music, presented with the Evans modern touch. If you ever needed a record to convince you that Gil Evans was a genius, this is it!
(Orange & black label mono pressing.)