Today we visit France and tap into some unreleased material from French pianist Jef Gilson. Gilson’s style ran the gamut from straight ahead to Afro-Cuban and Free Jazz. The Jazzman label has taken it upon themselves to do a proper reissue of this man’s work with the outstanding approval of his widow Geneviève. Diving into hundreds of hours of alternative takes, acetates, reel to reel recordings, test pressings, and conferencing with ex-Gilson band members and record aficionados, they were able to come up with this special record. The record itself is comprised of sides taken from the aforementioned and dives deeper into unissued sessions and personal recordings made from the ’50s to the ’70s, rehearsals, and many live recordings. None of this material has been reissued before. Doing this was no easy task; from scratched acetates to mangled and twisted wrecks of tape, translators, and patience, Jazzman has done their best to restore this music the best they can to bring it to the masses.
Gilson, an underdog and unsung hero on the Jazz scene, has been making music most of his 84 year old life. While working with the who’s who of European and American Jazz, he also ran the Palm label, and released scores of LPs and 45s. Gilson has remained under the radar and under appreciated by Jazz lovers his whole career, even though he continued to push boundaries and explore many avenues of the genre’s sound. Revisiting Gilson’s early experiments in Oriental and Ethnic Jazz with Lloyd Miller, Jazzman were able to to take unissued alternative takes out of Gilson’s classic repertoire, rehearsals, live jam sessions and lost live performances and bring out the best of this man’s lifetime of creativity. The label is known for uncovering and reissuing important music, and Gilson is no exception. With this series of Gilson’s music in the public’s eye, there is no doubt that Jef Gilson will be a more familiar name to Jazz heads and music lovers throughout the world. You can get this in a variety of ways: digi, CD, or the lovely ￼Deluxe double vinyl LP pressing with thick, glossy, gatefold sleeve. If you’re a lover of Jazz, you will indeed be a fan of this man’s body of work. Jazzman has done it once again.
Get this from Jazzman here.