Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Rooster_Ties

Time of the Barracudas (aka General Assembly, aka Waltz)

24 posts in this topic

I just realized (or had forgotten), that iirc -- ALL three(!) of the first(?) three major recordings of this tune, ALL went unreleased for 10 or more years after they were first recorded.  If I've got my facts straight...

1. First recorded version with Miles Davis and Gil Evans ensemble from 1963 - went unreleased until the Complete Miles & Gil box in 1996. Lots more good info HERE, which is a Google-translated German Wikipedia page for the tune (German to English).

2. Second recorded version with Gil Evans Orchestra, Wayne Shorter, Elvin Jones, Kenny Burrell, et al. from 1964 - went unreleased until the early 70's (is that right?), on an album of all previously unreleased Gil Evans material, some of which were just sketches that Gil never wanted released. This version later came out on the CD editions of Individualism Of..., and being the first track on the CD, most folks (including myself) probably thought that's where it came from originally (had forgotten that until recently).  Is that all right? - that stunning version sat in the can for 10(!) years! (THIS is the 1974 album that I think is the first ever release of the Evans/Shorter/Elvin/Burrell version, correct?)

3. Wayne Shorter quartet version from 1965 for Etcetera (for Blue Note), simply titled "Barracudas" - but not released until 1980, on the LT series.

 

What was the first ever released version of this tune? - the 1974 issue of the 1964 Evans/Shorter/Elvin/Burrell version? Or, maybe the 4th(!) recorded version from 1969 with Billy Harper, et al. (which seems to have been released on Ampex in 1970, on an album simply called Gil Evans, and that same material was later reissued in 1985 by enja as Blues in Orbit)?  I'm reading online that the shorter Ampex version of this album (with only the 1969-recorded tracks) was supposedly poorly distributed -- and maybe wasn't widely known until the enja reissue in 1985.)

 

So then, was Wayne's BN quartet version (released in 1980!), really the FIRST widely distributed/known version of this tune? Then (if you can believe it), maybe followed by the 1985 enja reissue of the 1969 (4th) recorded version (originally on Ampex)?

And then it wasn't FINALLY until the 1988(!) CD issue of Individualism that anybody really had half-a -chance to hear it even close to the way Gil originally intended? Jeez, what a horrible release history for what I consider to be one of Gil's near signature tunes. WTF?

Discuss...

Edited by Rooster_Ties

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like maybe there's a 2LP version of Individualism from 1974 that also had the Evans/Shorter/Elvin/Burrell version (the 2nd LP looks like it was the same as the obscure single LP), along with the other sketches that Gil never wanted released. Was this 2LP version widely known at the time?

And while we're at it, are those other four 'sketches' at all interesting?

I know Gil must have really disliked them, but I've always been curious to hear them (but never have). Haven't ever found them uploaded to YouTube, but that's about the only place I've ever looked online to hear them.

Edited by Rooster_Ties

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Rooster_Ties said:

 

So, what WAS the first ever released version of this tune? - the 1974 issue of the Evans/Shorter/Elvin/Burrell version? Or, maybe the 4th(!) recorded version in 1969 with Billy Harper, et al. (1970?-released) Blues In Orbit for Ampex? (And I gather the shorter Ampex version of this album with only the 1969-recorded tracks was simply titled Gil Evans, and was (supposedly) poorly distributed -- and probably(?) wasn't widely known until the enja reissue in 1985 - is that year right for the enja?)

So the little-known, poorly distributed Ampex version of the 1969 (4th) recorded version comes out, followed by the 1974 obscure as hell German-issue of previously unreleased Gil (probably not widely known at the time).

It wasn't that poorly distributed.  I had no trouble finding it in Toronto.

Quote

So, then, was Wayne's quartet version (released in 1980!), really the FIRST widely distributed/known version of this tune? Then (if you can believe it), maybe followed by the enja reissue of the 1969 (4th) recorded version (originally on Ampex)?

And then it wasn't FINALLY until the 1988 CD issue of Individualism that anybody really had half-a -chance to hear it even close to the way Gil originally intended?

Jeez, what a horrible release history for what I consider to be one of Gil's near signature tunes. WTF?

Discuss...

This thread includes a discussion of the Verve album with the "sketches".  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love this tune in its various incarnations. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Milestones said:

I love this tune in its various incarnations. 

Me too, and I'll buy almost any title that includes it.  I have (or have had) remakes on leader-dates by Ingrid Jensen, and another by Scott Colley (with Ravi Coltrane, iirc) -- but those are the only two 'covers' I can think of at the moment.  Would welcome hearing of others!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the Ampex album. Time to dig it out.

Here's a lesser known Evans item

E4032]Add

Billy Harper (fl) Gil Evans (p,el-p,arr,cond) Joe Beck (el-g) Herb Bushler (el-b) David McDonald (d) Warren Smith (perc,synt)

 c. 1974-1975

Bluefish       Folkways FTS33901

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In order of actual release:

  1. Ampex album (not in circulation long in these parts, but findable in cuttout bins)
  2. Verve outtakes album (ditto)
  3. etcetcetc (LT LP, get it while it's there or else don't)
  4. Miles/Gil box

$_1.JPG

Gil+Evans+Gil+Evans+Orch+Kenny+Burrell++

220px-Etcetera.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Damn, Jim.  I picked up the CD issue of Individualism in the very early 90's (and played the hell out of it at the time!) -- it was my first exposure to Gil outside of the Miles collaborations (and several years before I ever found/got any other 'Miles-less' Gil on CD, probably not until the late 90's).  So being Track 1 on the CD, "Time of the Barracudas" made this HUGE impression on me early on -- it was THE Gil Evans tune (without Miles) in my mind.

So why the 10-year wait to issue the 1964 Evans/Shorter/Elvin/Burrell version?  It's a frickin' masterpiece! - one of the highlights of the entire Gil Evans catalog, for gosh sake.

QUESTION:  Other than the big three I started out with in my post, are there any OTHER versions that pre-date the Ampex/ejna version from 1969?  (Meaning, is the Ampex/enja Blues in Orbit version really the 4th recorded version? - or are there any other versions specifically from the 1960's?)

All of those first three versions are just knockouts (well, maybe not quite the Miles -- but it is still Miles, and in the context of the whole 13-minute suite, it's still pretty darn good -- or at least certainly better than anything that came out on Quiet Nights).  And Etcetera is probably my #1 favorite Wayne Shorter Blue Note album (or a close second to All Seeing Eye, some days).

I could almost understand one or even two of those first three versions staying in the can 10 years or more -- but all three??

Edited by Rooster_Ties

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting thread, Rooster.  I, too, love this tune.  I should check out the Ampex.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Guy Berger said:

Interesting thread, Rooster.  I, too, love this tune.  I should check out the Ampex.

Here's the Ampex/enja version from 1969...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5GocDU2rTg

Wow, I haven't listened to this in a LONG time - I'd forgotten just how damn different it is.  With layers upon layers in the early buildup to the vamp/"theme" (in so much as there even is a theme).  Just listening (quietly) on my speakers at work, and I'm not trusting the above YouTube upload, so here's another...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhLxhyE16HM

...though it sounds the same.

Edited by Rooster_Ties

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, here's something entirely new to me.  Gil apparently ALSO continued to perform and also recorded this very same tune simply calling it "Waltz" (source).  If you search YouTube for "Gil Evans Waltz" there are at least 3-4 different examples (none of which mention Barracudas or General Assembly), for example THIS, or THAT, and THE OTHER.  Learn something new every day...

One on-line Gil discography (here) seems to indicate at least 5 different versions of "Waltz" were recorded/released (all seemingly live versions):

  • Montreux Jazz Festival '74 - Gil Evans - Nippon Phonogram RJ6043 - LP
  • Parabola - Gil Evans Orchestra Horo HDP31-32 - 2LPs
  • Gil Evans and his Orchestra - View Video 1301 - VHS Video (which is nearly the same as next item below)
  • Gil Evans and his Orchestra - ? RC-0002 - VHS Video (Japan)
  • Orchestre National de Jazz 86 direction François Jeanneau - Label Bleu LBC 6503 - CD
  • Farewell - Gil Evans & the Monday Night Orchestra - King K32Y 6250 - CD

Again, these are all live documents with "Waltz" in the track-listing (source)

Edited by Rooster_Ties

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably because he didn't want to share royalties with Miles. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regardless of the title, if you total up all the different released Gil versions (omitting the version on Etcetera), there are by my count at least 8 issued versions over the years (or 9 with the Shorter version).

So clearly a tune that lived strong in Gil's band's book for a long time. Again, why in the devil did those first three -- and arguably the very BEST three -- versions of the tune just languish in the vaults for 33, 10, and 15 years each (respectively)?

Edited by Rooster_Ties

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably because there was no place to put it after the Individualism LP was released.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/6/2016 at 0:05 AM, JSngry said:

Probably because there was no place to put it after the Individualism LP was released.

I suppose that's true, but it's still such a shocker to me that half-arguably(?) one of Gil's semi-signature tunes, would languish in obscurity like that, never getting a proper release for so long.

'Tis a puzzle!! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great piece. I have all the versions. I am very fond of pedal points.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/5/2016 at 8:50 AM, Rooster_Ties said:

 

So why the 10-year wait to issue the 1964 Evans/Shorter/Elvin/Burrell version?  I

 

 

On 4/6/2016 at 11:05 PM, JSngry said:

Probably because there was no place to put it after the Individualism LP was released.

 

On 9/16/2018 at 10:54 PM, Rooster_Ties said:

I suppose that's true, but it's still such a shocker to me that half-arguably(?) one of Gil's semi-signature tunes, would languish in obscurity like that, never getting a proper release for so long.

'Tis a puzzle!! 

The Verve reissue program at that time, hell, the whole label, really, was a bit of a mess. This was their first attempt(?) at doing an organized "from the vaults" series, and although it worked in terms of valuability, I get the sense from the packaging/etc. that it was a pretty loose project. At least it was an attempt at a series rather than just the odd drops here and there that the label had devolved to.

The Gil album, remember, had a tune mistitled, and in two cases, they released rough rhythm section jams that Gil  then had "banned" from any further issuance. He was vocal about that right from the beginning, too, complaining about it in an otherwise sanguine DB interview.

Fortunately for us all, Verve regrouped and set about putting together all those (mostly) marvelous 2-fers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jim, I got that LP back in 1973-4. The two quartet items were both mistitled. The lineup is Tony Studd (btb), Gil Evans (p), Paul Chambers (b) and Clifford Jarvis (d). The issued items are "Cheryl" (called "Blues In Orbit") and "Ah Moore" (called "Isobel").

I really like them, especially "Cheryl". They are not rough at all. There is nothing there that could damage Gil's reputation (as if). The same session has a version of "Punjab".

There are other unissued early 60s Verve recordings by large groups, including another version of "Punjab".

I want to hear all of these before the tapes disintegrate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Shrdlu said:

They are not rough at all.

We'll have to agree to disagree on that. Gil himself said that they were not intended for public consumption, and I can certainly see why.

And to that end, he made it a point to see that they were never released again. Now that he's dead, who knows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Shrdlu said:

Jim, I got that LP back in 1973-4. The two quartet items were both mistitled. The lineup is Tony Studd (btb), Gil Evans (p), Paul Chambers (b) and Clifford Jarvis (d). The issued items are "Cheryl" (called "Blues In Orbit") and "Ah Moore" (called "Isobel").

I really like them, especially "Cheryl". They are not rough at all. There is nothing there that could damage Gil's reputation (as if). The same session has a version of "Punjab".

There are other unissued early 60s Verve recordings by large groups, including another version of "Punjab".

I want to hear all of these before the tapes disintegrate.

I can't find any reference to a quartet version of Punjab and  the full orchestra version has never been released.  However Ryan Truesdell's Gil Evans Project did record Gil's arrangement on their cd "Centennial".    Do you know which other unissued recordings exist? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The reference to the quartet version of "Punjab" is in the notes Michael Cuscuna wrote when he put out the (extended) CD of "The Individualism Of Gil Evans".

Michael told me recently that the large group version of that definitely exists.

Gil recorded those before the Joe Henderson album with "Punjab" was recorded, so he must have got the composition from Joe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Shrdlu said:

The reference to the quartet version of "Punjab" is in the notes Michael Cuscuna wrote when he put out the (extended) CD of "The Individualism Of Gil Evans".

Michael told me recently that the large group version of that definitely exists.

Gil recorded those before the Joe Henderson album with "Punjab" was recorded, so he must have got the composition from Joe.

QUESTION:  Did Gil and Joe ever record together? - in any sort of context?  I'm certainly not recalling anything, and my Google-fu isn't either -- though it appears they did play live together in 1972...

https://www.nytimes.com/1972/05/17/archives/gil-evans-jazz-pianist-marks-birthday-by-leading-big-band.html

Gil Evans, Jazz Pianist, Marks Birthday by Leading Big Band

MAY 17, 1972

Gil Evans, the jazz pianist, composer, arranger and conductor who has provided Miles Davis with some of his most viable settings, celebrated his 60th birthday last weekend with his large band at the Westbeth Cabaret, 155 Bank Street, where the group is playing every Saturday and Sunday.

Ever since his days as an arranger for Claude Thornhill's band more than 25 years ago, Mr. Evans has been fascinated by the potential effects of waves of musical sound—hanging waves, spreading waves, cumulative waves. With his present orchestra, he is supporting these waves with the tremendous driving rhythmic force of a eight‐piece rhythm section made up of two electric guitars, an electric bass, drums, two percussionists, synthesizer and an electric piano.

The rest of the band—two trumpets, two french horns, two saxophonists, trombone and tuba—gives Mr. Evans the mean for rich, colorful voicings that he uses lavishly in establishing themes for the various sections into which he divides most of his compositions.

These themes, as a rule, are simply jumping off points for a broad, expansive background over which soloists can improvise. And Mr. Evans, who draws on a large pool of devoted and talented jazz musicians whenever he assembles band, has solists who can meet the challenges that he offers them.

In this current group, Dave Bargeron of Blood, Sweat and Tears, plays a brilliantly, lusty trombone, Trevor Koehler builds some striking and exciting lines on soprano saxophone, and Joe Henderson, also of Blood, Sweat and Tears, makes excellent use of a basic, uncluttered attack on tenor saxophone. Dave Horowitz, on synthesizer, does not have solo roles but he constantly heightens and adds accents to the sounds of the soloists and the ensemble.

Despite the emphasis that Mr. Evans puts on his soloists, this is essentially an ensemble group that produces an overall effect in which the soloists provide just one of several threads that Mr. Evans weaves together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting, Tom! I would love to have been at that. Of course, Joe could play with anyone.

I saw Blood, Sweat and Tears when they had Fred Lipsius on alto saxophone, and a good trumpet, too. They were a tasty sounding group.

Claude Thronhill's band was superb and very original. A friend in France sent me the tracks arranged by Gil (and also Gerry Mulligan). You can hear Gil's trademark sounds already.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.