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.
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.
This CD documents a concert by Gerry Mulligan's Quartet when the baritonist's group featured trumpeter Jon Eardley, bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Chico Hamilton. Half of these ten selections were either previously unissued or only available as part of obscure samplers. The music, comprised of standards, some blues and a few Mulligan originals, is quite enjoyable, swinging lightly and with plenty of interplay between the horns.
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.
A little less than eight years after it occurred, Concord Records issued this concert, originally broadcast on German radio, from Gerry Mulligan's last European tour, performed less than a year before his death. Mulligan appears with his regular band of the time – pianist Ted Rosenthal, bassist Dean Johnson, and drummer Ron Vincent – playing a group of originals that serve as springboards for his lyrical style of baritone saxophone playing. The group, which had been together for several years at this point, plays smoothly, offering excellent support to the leader. A special treat is the final track, a version of "These Foolish Things" on which Mulligan duets with guest star Dave Brubeck. The album demonstrates that, in his maturity, Mulligan continued to live up to the standards he had set for himself across a career stretching back 45 years. There are no real revelations this late in the game, but Mulligan and the band play with the assurance of veterans.
Gerry Mulligan's first session as a leader and one of the first to showcase his baritone was recorded in New York shortly before he relocated to Los Angeles and formed his famous pianoless quartet with Chet Baker. There is a piano on this set (George Wallington) but Mulligan's writing (all seven selections are his) for a two-baritone nonet that also features trumpeter Nick Travis and tenor-saxophonist Allan Eager is already in his influential "cool style"; best-known among the originals is "Bweebida Bwobbida." Two numbers on the CD reissue feature a smaller unit out of the group with "Mulligan's Too" being an extended workout for the leader and Eager.
One of three LPs recorded by the Gerry Mulligan Sextet of 1955-56, this set includes plenty of lesser-known songs including "Mainstream," "Igloo" and "Lollypop." With such strong soloists as baritonist Mulligan, the always swinging tenor of Zoot Sims, valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer and trumpeter Jon Eardley, this was a classic West Coast style jazz band and each of its recordings are worth acquiring.