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The Gil Evans Orchestra – Where Flamingos Fly (1961)

September 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Gil Evans collaborated with Miles Davis in the late 1950s playing a key role in LPs such as  Miles Ahead (1957), Porgy and Bess (1958), and Sketches of Spain (1960). His role being significant enough to get a full namecheck on the cover …. “Orchestra under the direction of Gil Evans”

Out of the Cool, recorded in late 1960 and then released in January 1961 on the legendary Impulse! label, was Evans’ first recording after these three Miles Davis LPs.

Where Flamingos Fly is a beautiful piece written by John Benson Brooks. Allmusic.com describe it thus:

Following a four-note theme on guitar, flute, tuba, and trombone, it comes out dramatic and blue, but utterly spacious and warm. The melancholy feels like the tune “Summertime” in the trombone melody, but shifts toward something less impressionistic and more expressionist entirely by the use of gentle dissonance by the second verse as the horns begin to ratchet things up just a bit, allowing Persip and Jones to play in the middle on a variety of percussion instruments before the tune takes on a New Orleans feel, and indeed traces much of orchestral jazz history over the course of its five minutes without breaking a sweat.

Nice.

Gang Starr – Jazz Thing (1990)

September 8, 2012 2 comments

Classic hip hop single from 1990 – never released on a regular Gang Starr LP, it featured in Spike Lee’s 1990 film “Mo’ Better Blues”.

A tribute to the greats of 20th century jazz, this track joins the pantheon of great “lists” songs also inhabited by LCD Soundsystem’s immortal “Losing My Edge” (previously posted here)

As Mr Lee himself observed:

Not everyone is fortunate to have a jazz musician for a father and grow up in a household listening to the music. It is my hope that maybe, just maybe, some young folks will know from this film “Mo Better Blues” and the single “Jazz Thing” as much about Duke, Coltrane, Monk, Diz, Mingus, Billie Holiday, Bird, etc…etc…etc…, as Public Enemy, Biz Markie, L.L. Cool J, Hammer, Queen Latifah, etc…etc…etc…etc…

Spike Lee – July 13,1990

Superb video to accompany the track.

 

Gang Starr - Jazz Thing

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