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- The Archives by Jef Gilson
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8/10 Andrew Customer review, 6th August 2014
Since the passing of Jef Gilson in 2012, Jazzman have been pouring through an archive of alternate takes, rehearsals, live recordings, unissued sessions and personal recordings made from the ‘50s to the ‘70s; they have come up with this, none of which has been officially released before.
Gilson's work is varied, though within the prism of jazz. This LP gathers work across the early experiments in Oriental and Ethnic Jazz with Lloyd Miller as well as unissued alternate takes of Gilson’s classic repertoire enhanced further by long-lost live performances from 1960s European jazz festivals. Additionally there are recordings from rehearsals and jam sessions, such as the 'Three Four One' piano solo, and alternate takes of Chant Inca. The tropical influence on 'Choro In Bkue' is a highlight for me, the upbeat 'Ablution' also a stand out. However whilst the mixed nature of recordings may suggest a rather haphazard listening experience the album does hang together very well.
This is a lovely companion piece to Jazzmans previous collection of Gilson’s work, I'd also recommend the Chansons 10" collection issued at the same time as this. As ever with Jazzman there are also informative liner notes in the plush gatefold sleeve, so why not get yourself a drink, lie back and listen and have a read. A lovely way to spend an hour or so with the French innovator.
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