La Nevada by Gil Evans. Edited by Rob DuBoff and Jeffrey Sultanof. Arranged by Gil Evans. For big band. Jazz. Medium. Score and parts. Published by Jazz Lines Publications (JL.JLP-8479).
Background: Gil Evans made two albums for the World Pacific label in 1958 and 1959; these albums have been reissued many times over the years. On the second of the two, the last track was an original composition called La Nevada. In 1960, Evans put together a band for an extended gig at a club called the Jazz Gallery, and La Nevada was part of the book. The Music: One of the few original compositions that Evans wrote during this period, the Jazz Gallery La Nevada as recorded on the Impulse album, Out of the Cool is a different piece from its original recording. While the World Pacific version was fully arranged with improvised solos, the Impulse version is sketchier and looser. The theme itself is arranged, but very little else is. Evans was veering toward a more improvised ensemble music that would evolve over many performances. The backgrounds on the recording during solos or transitions were worked out on the bandstand and not written down. Because Evans did not write them, they do not appear in this publication. Notes to the Conductor: In all of its incarnations, La Nevada is made up of two chords: Gm7 to G, with an occasional F# as a neighbor chord. In the World Pacific recording, these changes are used in the melody and the improvised solos. By the time of the Jazz Gallery band and the Impulse recording, Gm7 was the only chord used for solos. The arrangement is scored for a horn in F. Recognizing that not every band has a horn available we have included an optional tenor saxophone 2 part that is an alternate part. Obviously solos can go in many directions, but this piece is also an invitation for your ensemble to make this piece your own by adding backgrounds, in between and under the solos themselves, and making it as long or short as you wish. The piece lays a foundation for exploration and just plain fun, so go for it!