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Gil Evans and His Orchestra: The Best of Jazz

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Though his childhood was very difficult, he was meant to become a famous musical celebrity. Gil Evans is the nickname for Ian Ernest Gilmore Green; he was born in Toronto, May 13, 1912. His family was usually moving to different places because his mother and his stepfather worked in mines and campsites. It was not until 1922 that they settled down in California. Gil Evans had the chance to study music at Berkeley. He met the father of one of his friends, who was a devotee of jazz music; this person taught him everything he needed to know about this genre. He even took Evans and his son to Duke Ellington’s concerts at the Orpheum Theater in San Francisco.

In 1935, Gil Evans and his six musicians were hired to play in southern California; they played at the Rendez-Vous Ballroom for more than three years. Alex Holden, a member of MCA proposed Evans and his orchestra to play next to Skinnay Ennis. Since they accepted, Ennis contacted Bob Hope and got a place for them in the comedy show Hope hosted.

During the 1940’s, Evans moved to New York and worked with his orchestra; they participated in an intermission at the Royal Roost with the Count Basie Orchestra. From 1957 to1988, Gil Evans recorded seventeen albums, most of them with his orchestra. Some of his albums are: “Gil Evans and Ten” in the year 1957; “New Bottles, Old Wine” for 1958; “The Individualism of Gil Evans” in 1964 and “Plays the Music of Jimmy Hendrix" in 1975. From his latest production “75th Birthday Concert” was released in 1987.

Gil Evans passed away March 20, 1988, due to a tough pneumonia.

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