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Gil Evans
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    (May 13, 1912-March 20, 1988)
    Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Birth name was Ian Ernest Gilmore Greem
    Pianist, arranger, bandleader, and composer
    Recorded the albums ‘Gil Evans & Ten’ (1958), ‘Great Jazz Standards’ (1959), ‘Out of the Cool’ (1961), Into the Hot’ (1962), ‘The Individualism of Gil Evans’ (1964), ‘Satin Doll’ (1972), ‘The Gil Evans Orchestra Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix (1974), ‘Parabola’ (1979), and ‘Bud and Bird’ (1987)
    Arranger for several Miles Davis albums, including ‘Birth of the Cool’ (1957), ‘Miles Ahead’ (1957), ‘Porgy and Bess’ (1959), ‘Sketches of Spain’ (1960), ‘At Carnegie Hall’ (1962), ‘Quiet Nights’ (1963), ‘Filles de Kilimanjaro’ (1968), and ‘Star People’ (1983)
    Also arranged records for Claude Thornhill, Charlie Parker, Johnny Mathis, Kenny Burrell, Astrud Gilberto, and Sting
    Inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame (1986)
    He was a slow-working perfectionist.
    A musician in his band noted, ‘He was terribly disorganized and a chaotic bandleader.’
    He called himself ‘the world’s greatest example of the fact that fame and fortune are not synonymous.’
    AllMusic noted that from the mid-70s on, his bands ‘were top-heavy in talent but tended to ramble on too long.’
    His father died before Evans’ birth.
    He was an important figure in the development of cool jazz, free jazz, and jazz fusion.
    His collaborations with Miles Davis were called ‘the first fresh big-band innovations to come along since the great Ellington concertos of 1939-42.’
    He had hoped to collaborate with Jimi Hendrix, but the guitarist died before a scheduled meeting to discuss the project.
    He was named a NEA Jazz Master (1985).
    A biographer said, ‘I have never heard a musician say anything bad about Gil.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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