About the album
Janine Abbas, Friederike Darius: flutes(track 6&9) | Marco Kegel: alto saxophone & clarinet (tr.5 replaced by Albert Beltman) | John Ruocco: clarinet | Ab Schaap: tenor saxophone & clarinet | Simon Rigter: tenor saxophone & flute | Nils van Haften: baritone saxophone & bass-clarinet | Jan Oosthof, Ruud Breuls, Mike booth: trumpet (tr.5 replaced by: Erik Veldkamp, Ray Bruinsma, Jan Hollander) | Martijn Sohier, Ilja Reijngoud(tr.5 replaced by Hansjörg Fink): trombone | Rene Pagen, Roel Koster, Morris Kliphuis: french horn | Martien de Kam: tuba | Rob van Bavel: piano | Martijn van Iterson: guitar | Jan Voogd, Jos Machtel (tr. 5): bass | Eric Ineke, Marcel Serierse (tr. 5): | drums
In 1957, Capitol Records released an LP album that contained eleven instrumental tracks by a group billed as the Miles Davis Nonet. The material on this LP stemmed from two recording
sessions in 1949 and 1950. Capitol had originally released some of these recordings as 78 rpm
singles. The music was scored by a group of young modernists, then virtually unknown: Gerry Mulligan, John Lewis, Gil Evans, and John Carisi.
The Miles Davis Nonet had an unconventional line-up that included “non-jazz” instruments such as a French horn and a tuba. The sound of the Nonet was even more unconventional. Against impressionistic, subdued backgrounds, the soloist escapades of Miles Davis, Lee Konitz and Gerry Mulligan defied the dominant aesthetics of late-1940s bebop, which called for virtuosos who expressed themselves with quicksilver versatility. Capitol’s 78s of the Nonet sold modestly and had little impact at the time of their release. The music must have struck most
listeners as an odd, far-out extension of the modern jazz movement. But among connoisseurs, the recordings gained an underground reputation, which has never stopped growing since. The catchy title of the compilation was as suggestive as it was misleading: The Birth of the Cool.
Despite the suggestion of the album’s title, “cool” was not “born” with Miles Davis Nonet, in 1949 and 1950. In truth, its musical idiom developed out of experiments by a number of young modernists. Two of the main voices of that group were Gil Evans and Gerry Mulligan. The present CD is dedicated to their largely unknown work for the Claude Thornhill Orchestra, the band that served as main inspiration for the Miles Davis Nonet. Among the historically important scores presented here are two arrangements by Gil Evans for an extended Thornhill orchestra, including a breathtaking version of Moondreams (as part of a medley) that served as the basis for the famous Miles Davis Nonet recording. The other gems are hitherto unrecorded scores by Gerry Mulligan, which prove that he was one of the important architects of the Birth of the Cool sound.