Gil Evans Style arranging

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by mambo4, May 23, 2008.


  1. mambo4

    mambo4

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    Maybe the wrong forum for this..

    I really Love Gil Evan's arranging from his Miles Davis/ Cool Jazz days. I'm interested in studying his harmonic ideas a little more. Has Gil Evans ever written about arranging? Or has someone else written about Gil's music? I'm looking for in depth musical and theoretical analyses, not biography/discography info.

    or is transcribing my best bet?
     
  2. HaVIC5

    HaVIC5

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    Phew, Gil Evans, now thats some serious stuff. The arranging and orchestration techniques that he employs are very advanced, and in order to fully grasp what he's doing it would help to have a strong foundation in arranging for medium to large ensemble. Fortunately for you, you won't have to transcribe the Birth of Cool or Sketches of Spain, there are published scores out there of his orchestrations, and they are VERY helpful in getting to the meat of the matter on how he writes. As for general foundation in arranging, I would recommend "Modern Jazz Voicings" by Ted Pease and Ken Pullig. It is VERY comprehensive in its approach to voicings for horns and creating a method from the "chord scale" concept taught at Berklee. It gets you up to snuff with voicings in fourths (quartal voicings), seconds (secundal or cluster voicings) and upper structures triads, all of which played a big role in Gil Evans' sound.

    Birth of Cool:
    http://www.amazon.com/Miles-Davis-B...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211564110&sr=1-1

    Modern Jazz Voicings:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/06...&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=365314301&pf_rd_i=507846
     
  3. mambo4

    mambo4

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    thanks, just the kind of thing I was hoping for.

    Had Evans himself ever written about arranging?
     
  4. HaVIC5

    HaVIC5

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    I don't think so. He, like Duke Ellington, created their own sorts of systems for their own composition, but at the time didn't think (or had no desire) to put their ideas into publication as a one-size-fits-all pedagogical method. Instead, like all good things happening in jazz in the 40's and 50's, he just verbally explained things he was doing to other up-and-comers, who went off and did their own thing with the tricks he showed them. One of these was Herb Pomeroy, who codified a system called Line Writing, and with that helped develop Jazz education as we know it, basically singlehandedly starting the jazz writing program at Berklee, and the jazz program at MIT. His ideas are still the foundation of the jazz composition program at Berklee, which are incorporated in the Modern Jazz Voicings book (and in the other book by Berklee Press, Writing for Large Jazz Ensemble, especially the chapter on line writing). So basically, that book is a game of six degrees of separation, but it'll give you a good foundation in technique and arrive in a way that you can appreciate what Gil is doing.
     
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  6. mymarkov

    mymarkov

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    hello guys,

    sorry i don't know where to post this, but i'm listening to ronny jordan these days. and although the chord changes are simple, there are not easy to figure out. for examples, i'm listening to 7th heaven. and i scour the net, but aren't able to find out what chord changes are in this simple yet groovy song.

    any advice out there?
     

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