MOON DREAMS [OCTET]
As Recorded by Miles Davis
Arranged by Gil Evans, Prepared by Jeffrey Sultanof and Rob DuBoff
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Edition: Jazz Octet Arrangement [6 Horns with Rhythm Section]
Description: Ballad - Difficult
Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications
Gil Evans set up shop in his small New York apartment above a Chinese laundry acting as an adviser to a group of jazz musicians. Evans was already well-known as an adventurous arranger who took inspiration from classical composers of the day. The emphasis of this group was the arrangements and the re-definition of the current jazz scene. Gerry Mulligan was the main arranger and composer with John Lewis. In 1947 Evans and Gerry Mulligan organized a group of musicians into a working nonet and began to rehearse some new material. Miles Davis was trying to separate himself from the bebop club scene, of which he was a part in Charlie Parker's groups. He heard the music being played at Gil Evans' place and joined them.
In 1949 Davis organized the recording of twelve arrangements, nine by Gerry Mulligan. They were recorded by Capitol Records, during three recording sessions, over the next year. These sessions yielded the famous Birth of the Cool record. The musicians that were in the group included: Miles Davis (trumpet), Mike Zwerin (trombone), Bill Barber (tuba), Junior Collins (French horn), Gerry Mulligan (baritone saxophone), Lee Konitz (alto saxophone), John Lewis (piano), Al McKibbon (bass), and Max Roach (drums).
Gerry Mulligan with Gil Evans, John Lewis, Miles Davis, and the others invented what came to be known as the Cool School.
Here is Gil Evans' arrangement of the Johnny Mercer/Chummy MacGregor standard 'Moon Dreams' engraved from the manuscript - this is not a transcription. This is a brilliant arrangement full of color and orchestral nuance. In fact, it's quite astounding at the layers and depth of sound Gil was able to achieve with just 8 instruments (there's no piano in this arrangement). The harmonies and the rhythms are very sophisticated and impressionistic. This piece has been arranged for alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, trumpet, horn in F, trombone, tuba, bass, drums. Recognizing that not every band has access to a horn, we've included a second trumpet part as an alternate for the horn part. And, a bass trombone would easily be able to play the tuba part in the event that you don't have that instrument at your disposal. This piece features a brief baritone sax solo (as played by Gerry Mulligan) that has been written out in full, though chords have been indicated for an ad-lib solo. The last part of the arrangement features arco bass. This classic, Gil Evans' masterpiece arrangement re-defined jazz and popular music arranging and should be a part of every band's library. This Jeffrey Sultanof Master Edition comes with complete performance and historical notes.
NOTE: This is part of our BIRTH OF THE COOL series of charts.
Horn in F (or Trumpet)
Tuba (or Bass Trombone)