Recorded by the Miles Davis/Gil Evans Orchestra
Arranged by Gil Evans, Edited by Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-8282DL


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Audio Sample:

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Edition: Jazz Orchestra Arrangement

Description: Swing - Advanced

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

When George Avakian signed Miles Davis to Columbia Records, he wanted the artist to make an album with a big band. There were two arrangers whom he had in mind to write the music: Gunther Schuller and Gil Evans. Miles instantly chose Evans. Gil had for all intents and purposes been missing from the national music scene for several years, although in 1956 he wrote Jambangle for an album featuring Hal McKusick. The reunion of Davis and Evans on record was a major event, and the album Miles Ahead began a new chapter not only for both men, but for soloist and big band albums.


The Music:

Springsville was composed in 1956 by John Carisi, who’d written Israel for the Miles Davis Nonet in 1949. Carisi recorded Springsville for the RCA Jazz Workshop series, but the album was never released; it was also recorded that same year by Urbie Green for ABC-Paramount. Evans liked the tune well enough to make it the first track on “Miles Ahead,” and it turns out to be the perfect opener for the album. Legend has it that Evans called Carisi years later and tell him how much he still loved the tune and the arrangement he’d made for Davis. There is no question that it is a classic. This version utilizes the original manuscript score from that session. Jazz Lines Publicaitons has restored the improvised piano solo that was changed to trumpet for the recording (this was originally to be played by Wynton Kelly).


Notes to the Conductor:

There is no way to get around the fact that Springsville is one of the most difficult pieces ever written for a jazz orchestra. Even though Carisi did not envision the tune played this fast, Evans’ setting simply does not work at a slower tempo, and this will pose challenges even for the most experienced musicians. The sound sample has been provided by Dr. William Meckley and the Empire Jazz Orchestra featuring Claudio Roditi.

Full Score
Solo Trumpet/Flugelhorn
Alto Saxophone
2 Bass Clarinets
5 Trumpets (6 total trumpets)
2 Horns in F
4 Trombones