The Complete Pacific Jazz Sessions is a 2006 CD reissue of two Gil Evans albums on one disc: New Bottle Old Wine from 1958 and Great Jazz Standards from 1959. The skinny is that they were his second and third records as a leader, a capacity he'd been able to assume due to the prominence he'd achieved through his collaborations with Miles Davis, beginning in earnest in 1957.
New Bottle Old Wine fairly closely follows the model of Evans's first album with Davis. This record,
Great Jazz Standards opens things up a bit. Solo duties are spread around among a number of players, notably Steve Lacy, Johnny Coles, and Budd Johnson, on a number of instruments, and Gil's own piano plays a small but key role on a few tracks. And, it could
Shadows of Treme, sure. And at this point any trumpeter waking up in Gil Evans's bed is going to be suspected of Miles Davis, but Coles makes his own case pretty quick, achieving a singing, broad, magnanimous tone that Miles just didn't use. But it's Gil we're here to hear, right? And he delivers, with a setting that alternates between moaning very reminiscent of '20s hot jazz sonorities and the muted-horn, odd-woodwind murmuring you expect from him. And it all adds up to a deeply moving, authentically felt blues. This is the olive in your martini.