Gil Evans by Stephanie Stein Crease
Out of the Cool: His Life and Music

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The life (1912–1988) and career of Gil Evans paralleled and often foreshadowed the quickly changing world of jazz through the 20th century. Gil Evans: Out of the Cool is the comprehensive biography of a self-taught musician whom colleagues often regarded as a mentor. His innovative work as a composer, arranger, and bandleader—for Miles Davis, with whom he frequently collaborated over the course of four decades, and for his own ensembles—places him alongside Duke Ellington and Aaron Copland as one of the giants of American music. His unflagging creativity galvanized the most prominent jazz musicians in the world, both black and white. This biography traces Evans's early years: his first dance bands in California during the Depression; his life as a studio arranger in Hollywood; and his early work with Claude Thornhill, one of the most unusual bandleaders of the Big Band Era. After settling in New York City in 1946, Evans's basement apartment quickly became a meeting ground for musicians. The discussions that took place there among Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan, John Lewis, and others resulted in the “Birth of the Cool” scores for the Miles Davis Nonet and, later on, for Evans’s masterpieces with Davis: “Miles Ahead,” “Porgy and Bess,” and “Sketches of Spain.” This replaces 1556524250.

About Stephanie Stein Crease

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Stephanie Stein Crease is the author of Gil Evans: Out of the Cool, winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award, and Music Lessons: Guide Your Child to Play a Musical Instrument. She edited the liner notes for the Grammy award-winning CD set Duke Ellington Centennial Edition.
Published May 1, 2003 by Chicago Review Press. 400 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Arts & Photography, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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One of jazz's great musical arrangers and composers—the author compares him to Duke Ellington and Aaron Copland—Evans is principally known today for his groundbreaking work with trumpeter Miles Davis.

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It's a credit to Crease's clear-sighted, compassionate narrative that none of this casts a negative light on Evans.

Jan 18 2002 | Read Full Review of Gil Evans: Out of the Cool: H...

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