This is a rather relaxed recording featuring baritonist Gerry Mulligan and some of his top alumni (trumpeter Art Farmer, trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Bill Crow, and drummer Dave Bailey) exploring three of his own songs (including "Festive Minor"), Chopin's Prelude in E minor, "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," and "Morning of the Carnival" (from Black Orpheus). The emphasis is on ballads and nothing too innovative occurs, but the results are pleasing and laid-back.
At this 1974 concert baritonist Gerry Mulligan and trumpeter Chet Baker had one of their very rare reunions; it would be only the second and final time that they recorded together after Mulligan's original quartet broke up in 1953. Oddly enough, a fairly contemporary rhythm section was used (keyboardist Bob James, vibraphonist Dave Samuels, bassist Ron Carter, drummer Harvey Mason, and in one of his first recordings, guitarist John Scofield). However, some of the old magic was still there between the horns, and in addition to two of Mulligan's newer tunes, this set (the first of two volumes) also includes fresh versions of "Line for Lyons" and "My Funny Valentine."
Reissue with latest 2014 DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. Jeru was a favor that Gerry Mulligan did for his drummer, Dave Bailey, who owned a startup label called Jazzline. Mulligan was bet-ween recording contracts. The ensemble played together only once, during the four-and-a-half-hour session when Jeru was made in 1962. It features Tommy Flanagan on piano, Ben Tucker on bass, Bailey on drums and Alec Dorsey on congas. The album never appeared on Jazzline because CBS bought the master and released it on Columbia.
The second of two CDs in this series mostly consists of previously unissued material taken from a high school concert featuring the Gerry Mulligan Quartet (which at the time featured trumpeter Jon Eardley) plus two guests (valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer and tenor-saxophonist Zoot Sims). This swinging and often-witty cool bop music is quite enjoyable and highly recommended.
Reissue with latest 2014 remastering. Comes with liner notes. The last of the pianoless quartet albums that Gerry Mulligan recorded in the 1950s is one of the best, featuring the complementary trumpet of Art Farmer, bassist Bill Crow, and drummer Dave Bailey along with the baritonist/leader. This recording is a little skimpy on playing time but makes every moment count. Virtually every selection is memorable, with "What Is There to Say," "Just in Time," "Festive Minor," "My Funny Valentine," and "Utter Chaos" being the high points. Highly recommended both to Mulligan collectors and to jazz listeners who are just discovering the great baritonist.
Baritonist Gerry Mulligan had at the time of this recording been a jazz giant for 45 years. His slightly bubbly baritone sound has always been distinctive and he never had difficulty jamming with anyone. In the 1990s Mulligan's regular trio has been comprised of pianist Ted Rosenthal, bassist Dean Johnson and drummer Ron Vincent. The sidemen work together very well on this quartet date (Bill Mays fills in for Rosenthal on two songs) and form a solid foundation for Mulligan to float over. The baritonist performs a variety of superior standards such as "Home," "They Say It's Wonderful," and "My Shining Hour," revives "My Funny Valentine"; he also revisits a few of his originals (including "Walking Shoes" and "Song for Strayhorn"). This is a fine example of Gerry Mulligan's playing.
Out of the 13 selections included on this double CD, six were originally released just in Europe, two ("Out of Nowhere" and "Mexican Jumping Bean") were never out before and only five songs were on the American LP. Considering how inspired the Dave Brubeck Quartet sounds, it is surprising that the music has been so obscure for so long. Baritonist Gerry Mulligan is particularly heated on the opening two numbers (the unreleased tracks), pianist Dave Brubeck really stretches himself (check him out on "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" where he progresses from stride to free), and bassist Jack Six and drummer Alan Dawson, in addition to their solo space, are quite alert and constantly pushing the lead voices. Not only are the musicians in top form but the audience is very enthusiastic, demanding three encores. The extensive liner notes by Geoffrey Smith are also a major plus. Highly recommended.