Q (7/96, p.137) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...the arranger at the peak of his powers....Never is a surplus riff utilised in the name of authority. Everywhere there's room for soloists to move..."
Gil Evans Orchestra: Gil Evans (arranger, conductor, piano); Budd Johnson (soprano & tenor saxophones); Eddie Caine, Ray Beckenstein (alto saxophone, flute, piccolo); Johnny Coles, Phil Sunkel (trumpet); Keg Johnson, Jimmy Knepper (trombone); Tony Studd (bass trombone); Bill Barber (tuba); Bob Tricarico (flute, piccolo, bassoon); Ray Crawford (guitar); Ron Carter (bass); Charlie Persip, Elvin Jones (drums, percussion).
Producer: Creed Taylor.
Reissue producer: Michael Cuscuna.
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on November 18 & 30 and December 10 & 15, 1960. Includes liner notes by Tom Stewart and Michael Cuscuna.
Digitally remastered using 20-bit technology by Erick Labson (MCA Music Media Studios).
A much admired and loved man, of all the many brilliant orchestration projects this was his finest in his own right. He teases us with the opening of 'La Nevada' until the gorgeous repeated four-bar riff finally bursts on our ears with orgasmic delight. There are wonderful brass solos from John Coles, Tony Studd and Budd Johnson and a bass showcase for Ron Carter. As the opening track peters out after 15 minutes the listener enjoys the smug realization that there are a further four outstanding pieces to come.