Miles Evans Two Part Harmony Part3
AAJ: Your father had a basement apartment on 55th Street in NewYork, behind a Chinese laundromat. A lot of innovative music was happening there at that time. I want to know more about that; I'd also like to know what's happening in your basement.
ME: My father had that amazing period, when so many talented musicians came to his apartment, like Miles Davis, [saxophonist] Gerry Mulligan, [composer] George Russell, and other greats. They'd talk about music sometimes for hours and come up with interesting ideas. Apparently the doors were always unlocked, so musicians could drop in at any time and create. It was like a musical crash pad.
Though it was before my time, I know some of the stories, and what an unbelievable brewing place it was for music. In '49, Birth of the Cool (Capitol, 1956) came to fruition, which gave the world a new sound to music. Gil and Miles continued to create with Miles Ahead (Columbia, 1957), Sketches of Spain (Columbia, 1960), Porgy and Bess (Columbia, 1958), Quiet Nights (Columbia, 1962), and Live at Carnegie Hall (Columbia, 1961). Nothing like that had been done before. Those records are loved, played and performed and are still selling to this day.
what continues to happen in my basement is what my father talked to me
about. I'm listening to a lot of great music whether it's jazz, R&B,
classical, funk or pop. I'm mixing that all together and working on
coming up with something amazing and innovative.
AAJ: What's coming up on your musical menu?
ME: I'm working on it right now. I'll be flying to Los Angeles and working in the studio, and once it's done you'll see what will be brewing. There'll be [bassist] Darryl Jones, [saxophonist] Bob Sheppard, [keyboardist] Mitchel Forman, a really awesome backup singer for the Rolling Stones, Bernard Fowler, and Steve Ferrone, who is an incredible drummer who's now playing for Tom Petty. These musicians are unique and, guaranteed, the music will be too.
AAJ: What about the future of The Gil Evans Orchestra?
ME: The Gil Evans Orchestra has a bright future, with upcoming concerts in New York and elsewhere. We'll produce and perform great music, continuing the legacy with a fresh innovation. You'll see.
Ray Russell, Goodbye Svengali (Cuneiform, 2006)