Gil Evans was once described by Miles Davis as the greatest musician in the world, yet he has remained one of the least known and most underrated innovators in jazz. Revered by generations of musicians, Evans created a unique sound, drawing from such diverse inspirations as Duke Ellington, Claude Debussy, Charlie Parker, Cecil Taylor, and Jimi Hendrix. Best known for his collaboration with Miles Davis on albums such asBirth of the CoolandSketches of Spain, Gil Evans secured a crucial place in the history of modern jazz with his stunning orchestral arrangements. Now Evans's life and work are critically explored in this intimate, comprehensive biography of the arranger, composer, orchestrator, and bandleader. Hicock traces Evans's early work with swing, bebop, and cool jazz (which he helped to create); examines his pathbreaking work with Miles Davis; sheds new light on his innovations of the 1960s and '70s; and recounts his great final flourish of activities in the 1980s. Drawing from more than seventy exclusive interviews and featuring the voices of many of Evans's fellow musicians, this portrait of a quiet innovator and a beloved free spirit will restore him to his rightful place in jazz history.
Larry Hicockis a freelance writer, producer, and broadcaster whose credits include CBC-Radio, NPR,Coda, andDown Beat. He is also a lyricist and independent publisher. He lives near Toronto.