Cover image for Castles made of sound : the story of Gil Evans
Castles made of sound : the story of Gil Evans
Hicock, Larry.
Personal Author:
First Da Capo Press edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Da Capo ; London : Eurospan, 2002.
Physical Description:
xiv, 306 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML419.E9 H53 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Gil Evans was once described by Miles Davis as "the greatest musician in the world," yet he has remained one of the least known and most underrated innovators in jazz. Revered by generations of musicians, Evans created a unique sound, drawing from such diverse inspirations as Duke Ellington, Claude Debussy, Charlie Parker, Cecil Taylor, and Jimi Hendrix. Best known for his collaboration with Miles Davis on albums such as Birth of the Cool and Sketches of Spain , Gil Evans secured a crucial place in the history of modern jazz with his stunning orchestral arrangements. Now Evans's life and work are critically explored in this intimate, comprehensive biography of the arranger, composer, orchestrator, and bandleader. Hicock traces Evans's early work with swing, bebop, and cool jazz (which he helped to create); examines his pathbreaking work with Miles Davis; sheds new light on his innovations of the 1960s and '70s; and recounts his great final flourish of activities in the 1980s. Drawing from more than seventy exclusive interviews and featuring the voices of many of Evans's fellow musicians, this portrait of a quiet innovator and a beloved free spirit will restore him to his rightful place in jazz history.

Author Notes

Larry Hicock is a writer and producer whose work in the music industry includes forays into journalism, broadcasting, songwriting, and publishing. He has recently completed a Gil Evans documentary radio series for NPR. He lives in Hamilton, near Toronto, and is currently developing a jazz novel

Table of Contents

Forewordp. ix
Part 1 1912-1956
The Sounds of Lifep. 3
Swingtimep. 7
New Yorkp. 18
Wartimep. 28
A Whole New Worldp. 35
A Basement Room on 55th Streetp. 49
Birth of the Coolestp. 59
Behind the Scenesp. 74
Part 2 1957-1964
Miles Aheadp. 85
Gil Evans Plus Tenp. 93
New Bottle, Old Winep. 96
Porgy and Bessp. 98
Great Jazz Standardsp. 104
Sketches of Spainp. 107
Out of the Coolp. 116
Live at Carnegie Hallp. 122
Into the Hotp. 124
Quiet Nightsp. 126
Time of the Barracudap. 131
The Individualism of Gil Evansp. 135
Part 3 1965-1979
Re: Inventionp. 145
Miles Davis and Companyp. 150
Flower Powerp. 158
Great New Movesp. 166
The Music of Nowp. 195
Where the Work Isp. 205
Part 4 1980-1988
Changing Partnersp. 213
Reincarnationp. 227
Monday Nightsp. 234
Buster's Last Standp. 244
Memorialp. 281
Last Words from the Musiciansp. 284
Interviews Conducted by Authorp. 289
Bibliographyp. 293
Indexp. 297