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Since his passing in 2012, we have surveyed the substantial personal archive of Jef Gilson’s acetates, test pressings and reel to reel tapes with the kind permission of his widow, Geneviève.
The task has not been easy, it’s taken numerous trips to France and the generous assistance of a small army of translators, advisors, musicologists, amateur enthusiasts and record collectors, as well as the surviving members of Gilson’s musical entourage, for us to gather together the information required to make this album. In it you will find music we‘ve chosen from having listened to literally hundreds of hours of alternate takes, rehearsals, live recordings, unissued sessions and personal recordings made from the ‘50s to the ‘70s; none of which has been officially released before.
Despite the limitations afforded by mastering some of these recordings from anonymous reels of twisted, buckled tape and scratched, dusty old acetate discs, we hope that the music contained herein affords a fascinating and otherwise impenetrable insight into the workings of one of the great unsung creative forces of European jazz.
Early experiments in Oriental and Ethnic Jazz with Lloyd Miller. Unissued alternate takes of Gilson’s classic repertoire. Long-lost live performances from 1960s European jazz festivals. Rehearsals and jam sessions that developed into a lifelong creative obsession.
All tracks on this release are previously unreleased, fully licensed and digitally restored from their original source. It comes with a 24-page colour booklet that It includes comprehensive and detailed liner notes in English et en français with information on each track and original stories direct from our interviews with the musicians involved, plus previously unpublished photographs.
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