At the Vortex this Sunday, 13th May, the London Jazz Orchestra are putting on two special concerts to celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday of the great arranger / composer Gil Evans. The BBC will be recording the gigs.
The orchestra will work through the 1957 album Miles Ahead, and will be joined by two soloists: Evans’ trumpet playing son Miles Evans (named after Gil’s most famous collaborator) and the LJO’s own Henry Lowther.
In the 1950s and 60s Gil Evans defined a large ensemble style, borrowing woodwind timbres from classical orchestration, ambitiously extending the legacy of Ellington and providing the large ensemble sound which proved the perfect inspirational catalyst for the great Miles Davis.
I cannot think of a more appropriate British big band to hear playing this music. Rehearsing regularly under the direction of Scott Stroman, the LJO are inheritors and keepers of the tradition of orchestral big band music. Continually working through a stream of new work by members of the band, these are musicians who fully understand the music that they play. The band’s current members and alumni read like a who’s who of contemporary British jazz, and include another great orchestral composer / arranger in Pete Saberton, who sadly passed away in March.
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