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Monday, January 19, 2009

The Gil Evans Orchestra Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix

This is an interesting album on RCA CPL1-0667 from 1974 that has always peaked my curiosity.. The story goes that Gil Evans had spoken with Jimi Hendrix about recording an album where Hendrix would play his guitar while Gil Evans would create orchestral arrangements to back him up.. Given Gil Evans' track record for example creating the highly succesful partnerships with Miles Davis (i.e., Porgy and Bess, Sketches of Spain, etc.) this would have seemed like a very interesting partnership..Its also of note that supposedly Miles Davis himself had been talking with Jimi about working together.. In any case Jimi passed on before either partnership could happen.. Fast forward a few years later and Gil Evans put together an album of orchestral versions of the music of Jimi Hendrix... Its always interesting to hear these adaptations of material one is so familiar with...I note that the arrangements for most of the songs were done by members of the Gil Evans orchestra and not the svengali himself who only arranged "Castles Made of Sand" and "Up From the Skies".. I've never enjoyed Gil Evans' work and find his critically acclaimed work with Miles Davis to be snoozer and this album did nothing to change my opinion... Fun to listen to once or twice and put away..maybe if I were a DJ it would be fun to place this somewhere in the set and wait for people's faces to light up with "I got it!" recognition but thats about it..$5

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