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Although this is probably not what the composer had in mind when the music for Broadway hit 'Jamaica' was written, the astounding arrangements Gil Evans did in 1957 for the octet of multi-instrumentalist Don Elliott, are a welcome surprise. His unique jazz approach and the solo talents of Elliott on trumpet, mellophone, vibraphone, marimba and bongos breathe new life into a classic. All the musicians involved perform superbly, with Candido giving excellent support on conga, but the real glory belongs to Evans, whose kaleidoscopic arrangements dominate the album.
About A Musical Offering, recorded the previous year with a sextet, Elliott said he was searching for the sound of beautiful simplicity. With that in mind, he had commissioned a young and skilled arranger, Quincy Jones, to write clear-cut, modern arrangements for twelve tunes that, in Quincys own words, were without the complexity of Bird and without the dissonance of Kenton. Polite, nonchalant pleasing music. You may call them daylight arrangements. They all feature fine soloing by great jazzmen.
01. Push de Button (5:52)
02. Cocoanut Sweet (4:07)
03. Little Biscuit (3:50)
04. Savanna (3:53)
05. Pretty to Walk With (3:42)
06. Ain't It the Truth? (4:16)
07. Napoleon (4:58)
08. What Good Does It Do? (4:41)
09. Soon (2:45)
10. Catana (2:26)
11. Rough Ridin' (3:29)
12. Straits of McClellan (2:53)
13. Cry Me a River (2:34)
14. It's You or No One (2:51)
15. Our Love (2:52)
16. Jazz Me Blues (2:20)
17. Azure Te' (3:12)
18. Miss Wiss-Key (2:30)
19. Mood Indigo (2:35)
20. Don't You Know I Care (2:50)
Tracks #1-8 from the album "Jamaica Jazz" (ABC Paramount ABC-228)
Tracks #9-20 from the album "A Musical Offering" (ABC Paramount ABC-106)
Personnel on "Jamaica Jazz" :
Don Elliott Octet Arrangements by Gil Evans
Tracks #2, 3 & 8: Don Elliott (tp, mellophone, marimba & vibes), Frank Rehak (tb), Jimmy Buffington, Willie Ruff (frh), Hal McKusick (fl, as, b-cl), Dave Kurtzer (basson), Paul Chambers (b), Art Taylor (d), Candido Camero (conga).
Tracks #1, 4, 5, 6 & 7: Don Elliott (tp, mellophone, marimba & bongos), Don Ashworth, Phil Bodner, Romeo Penque (fl, oboe, egh), Al Klink (b-cl, ts), Barry Galbraith (g), Ernie Furtado (b), Art Taylor (d), Candido Camero (conga #4 & 6).
Recorded in New York City, November 26 & December 23, 1957.
Personnel on "A Musical Offering" :
Don Elliott Sextette Arrangements by Quincy Jones
Don Elliott (mellophone & vibes), Herbie Mann (fl, ts), Al Cohn (bs), replaced by Sol Schlinger on #10, 11, 17, 18, 20, Joe Puma (g), Vinnie Burke (b), Osie Johnson (d).
Recorded in Newark, NJ, June 29 & 30, 1956.
Original recordings produced by Creed Taylor.
Engineered by Irv Greenbaum (1-8), and Rudy Van Gelder (9-20).
This CD compilation produced by Jordi Pujol.
24-Bit Digitally Remastered