Search - Sting, Gil Evans :: Last Session

Last Session
Sting, Gil Evans
Last Session
Genres: Alternative Rock, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

Former Police chief Sting & legendary jazz composer/pianist Evans together recorded live at Perugia Jazz Festival on July 11, 1987. Import-only release, never issued in the States. Features 10 tracks, including Police clas...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Sting, Gil Evans
Title: Last Session
Members Wishing: 9
Total Copies: 0
Label: ITM
Release Date: 12/7/2004
Album Type: Import
Genres: Alternative Rock, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: Cool Jazz, Modern Postbebop, Adult Contemporary, Adult Alternative, Album-Oriented Rock (AOR)
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 766489359229


Album Description
Former Police chief Sting & legendary jazz composer/pianist Evans together recorded live at Perugia Jazz Festival on July 11, 1987. Import-only release, never issued in the States. Features 10 tracks, including Police classics like 'Roxanne', 'Murder By Numbers' & 'Tea In The Sahara' alongside a wide array of covers ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Billie Holiday to Tony Williams.

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CD Reviews

Sting meets Svengali
Joe Pierre | Los Angeles, CA United States | 03/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Last Session" is a live concert recording of the Gil Evans Band, with Sting as special guest, taken from the Perugia Jazz Festival in Italy on July 11, 1987. The recording was never released in the U.S., but is available here on the Italian label, Jazz Door.

Gil Evans, to Sting fans who might not know, was a jazz icon, known for his talents as composer and arranger (typically for big band) and for his collaborations with Miles Davis back in the day. Sting was a big Evans fan, and when they finally met, the two exchanged compliments and joined forces in 1987 for this concert and in the studio for Sting's Nothing Like the Sun album (with Gil arranging and playing on "Little Wing"). This concert may in fact be the "Last [recorded] Session" of Gil Evans, who died within the next year at the age of 76.

The concert has Gil's band (whose 19-piece ensemble notably featured George Adams on tenor sax, Lew Soloff on trumpet, Mark Egan on bass, and Branford Marsalis who no doubt was accompanying Sting, guesting on tenor and soprano sax) along with Sting exploring two numbers by mutual admiree Jimi Hendrix ("Exp" and "Little Wing"), two more traditional jazz tunes ("Strange Fruit" - written for and immortalized by Billie Holliday, and "There Comes a Time," by drummer Tony Williams), and five Sting/Police songs. Most of the tunes exceed the 6-minute mark, giving space for blowing solos by members of band and for Sting to get improvisational (often adding snippets from other songs into choruses).

The opening Hendrix number, "Exp" (actually, it's "Up From The Skies" from Axis: Bold as Love) is a nice start with Sting echoing the recurring vamp ("Is this true? I just want to talk to you...") and the band in a mostly supporting role. "Strange Fruit" just doesn't sound right without Billie Holliday, but Sting carries the tune with gusto and the band starts to get fired up. "Shadows In The Rain" is the first Sting number, and it translates well to big band with Branford given generous solo space on tenor. "Little Wing," a favorite of Gil Evans, has Sting weaving in the Beatles' "From Me to You," but it doesn't work for me, mainly because of its ascending bass line that just doesn't sound like the right notes - the studio version on Nothing Like the Sun is so much better. "There Comes a Time" has Sting and George Adams (who always liked to offer up a vocal number) dueting the same lines, but not quite in synch, and this comes off as rather distracting. Adams gives a trademark caterwalling sax solo, making me lament the lack of able jazz tenors still alive today. "Consider Me Gone" energizes everyone and there is a lot of spirited soloing - unfortunately the tune is marred in the end by some grating scat-like vocals by Urszula Dudziak. "Murder By Numbers" is an oddity, with the band having a very slow, explorative start before launching into a powerful, rollicking instrumental version (sans Sting) of "Synchronicity" without ever really playing "Murder" at all - too bad, because it would have been a good jazz tune. The concert finishes with excellent renditions of "Roxanne" and "Tea in the Sahara."

Sting's trademark soulful, smokey voice is well suited to jazz music (take for example the excellent jazz standards on the Leaving Las Vegas Sountrack) and he's in fine form here, with his improvisational technique generally consisting of repeated choruses or added lines from other tunes (e.g. inserting a verse from "Walking on the Moon" during "Tea in the Sahara"). While his vocals are amply miked throughout, the same unfortunately can't be said for the rest of the band who often sound quiet and distant (at times the backing horns are downright anemic, as on "Little Wing"), and there is the occasional problem with feedback (this is a live recording of a 20-piece orchestra after all). The inclusion of airy synthesizers is typical for the 80's, but the music suffers in my opinion as a result, and as noted, Dudziak's scatting annoys.

Despite these flaws, this is an enjoyable concert and an historical one at that, that will no doubt leave Sting fans pleased. On the other hand, as far as live Sting, Bring on the Night (especially if A&M had only included the excellent version of "Message in the Bottle" featured during the closing credits of the movie) which was also supported by musicians with solid jazz chops, or the MTV Unplugged concert from the Soul Cages tour (why didn't A&M release this on CD instead of only an abridged version on VHS!?) are better. But Last Session trumps All This Time, recorded during another live date in Italy, at a phase in Sting's career (e.g. now) when he'd descended, in large part due to the loss of worthy accompanists, into self-indulgent pablum. Last Session is a sampling from the peak of Sting's artistry, and worth checking out.

Jazzy Synchronicity
Darren | Jersey Shore, NJ USA | 10/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Sting joins jazz pianist & composer Gil Evans and this recording highlights him in the upper range of his artistic and improvisational artistry. The synergy between Evans and Sting seems to help Sting unleash a raw and passionate power and results in a highly savored live performance. Branford Marsalis makes a guest apearance and adds some superb tenor sax work to the performance.

If you enjoy the jazz of Gil Evans, the vocals of Sting and some music from his Police days, you will triple your listening pleasure with this great import which was recorded during a live performance at an Italian Jazz festival back in 1987. The jazz aficionados will detect a few flaws, however the performance remains a well worthwhile and pleasurable listening experience.

A bootleg
O. Javier | Miami, FL United States | 01/03/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)

"very interesting performance, but please note
-quality is not so good, it is mono and was recorded off an italin tv broadcast
-Jazz Door is a bootleg label.

See these for more information on this BOOTLEG LABEL

The reason you may have trouble tracking down much information about Jazz
Door is that it is a European bootleg label. They have fair distribution,
Cadence carries some of their releases, and the sound quality is generally
pretty good, ranging from 1950s airchecks to tapes made surreptiously
through sound boards at concerts. It's a shame that the musicians and
publishers aren't benefiting from the sale of these generally enjoyable CDs.
The official Thelonious Monk site says this:

I know that the Miles Davis bootleg Black Devil exists, but finding a copy
will be time consuming. You're likely going to have to try ebay and various
sites selling used CDs. Parallel Realities Live seems to be available as a
video, but it evidently hasn't been legitimately issued on CD, except for
possibly as a bootleg on Jazz Door. The video may have been issued under Pat
Metheny's name, but I don't have a definitive answer. Children of Forever, a
1994 reissue on One Way of Stanley Clarke's 1973 LP, is evidently out of
print, and you're going to have to stick to sites selling used CDs to find
it. None of the regular dealers I checked had any of these titles in stock.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- (check under Bootleg
recordings, lots on the Jazz Door bootleg label)
More Miles Davis bootlegs here on the Jazz Door bootleg label
Also the official Joey Calderazzo site, says he played for M. Brecker on
some BOOTLEGS on the Jazz Door bootleg label. Jazz musicians appreciate
bootlegs a lot, as little profit is made (unlike bootlegging U2)
some Jaco Pastorious Bootlegs on the Jazz Door bootleg label too
10.Ornette Coleman Quartet - Whom Do You Work For (1:32:11)1971-11-02,
Belgrade, Yugoslavia
from the bootleg "The Belgrade Concert" (Jazz Door (It) JD 12112 )
and here is some information in german language
and if you read spanish
Este "bootleg" de la discográfica Jazz Door, recoge con un sonido cristalino
y en un doble CD, el magnífico concierto ofrecido por este conjunto "all
stars" el 23 de Junio de 1.990 en Filadelfia. Desde la primera composición,
Shadow Dance, se pone de relieve el estado de gracia en el que se encuentran
los músicos, el entusiasmo y la maestría de las que harán gala durante la
mas de hora y media que tenemos la ocasión de disfrutarlos. Hubiéramos
querido mucho más.
and a great Miles Davis bootleg on the Jazz Door bootleg label here