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REASSESSING

Gerry Mulligan & Thelonious Monk: Mulligan Meets Monk

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Gerry Mulligan & Thelonious MonkMulligan Meets MonkOJC2013 (1957) The beauty of the Concord Music Group's treasure trove of a catalog is that it will always provide material for the “Reassessing" column at All About Jazz and similar columns elsewhere. The newest round of re-releases celebrate the 60th anniversary of Riverside Records. Riverside Records was founded by Orrin Keepnews and Bill Grauer in 1953, remaining a major force in jazz recording in New York City for a decade, when Grauer perished from a heart attack and the label declared bankruptcy. The catalog ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Verve Originals: Gato Barbieri / Paul Desmond / Gerry Mulligan / Wes Montgomery

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Verve's admirable, no frills, reissue series, “Originals," includes a mixture of masterpieces and also-rans from its own and its associated labels' archives. This trio of albums from the September 2009 batch includes one near masterpiece, saxophonist Gato Barbieri's Chapter Three: Viva Emiliano Zapata; an outstanding blowing session, saxophonists Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond's Blues In Time; and one career footnote, guitarist Wes Montgomery's Down Here On The Ground.

Gato Barbieri Chapter Three: Viva Emiliano Zapata Impulse! 2009 (1974)

The fiery going on incantatory Chapter Three: Viva Emiliano Zapata was the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Billy Taylor and Gerry Mulligan: Live at MCG

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The typical jazz listener easily tires of hearing standards covered by newer artists. However, it's occasionally good to hear the masters revisit some of these old compositions--a way of staying connected. Jazz legends Billy Taylor and Gerry Mulligan have done that with Live at MCG. The Manchester Craftsmen's Guild is a non-profit organization in Pittsburgh, USA whose mission is to preserve, present and promote jazz. In doing so, MCG brings in artists such as Taylor and Mulligan to entertain and educate the jazz public. Taylor is a pianist, composer, teacher, lecturer, radio and television personality, recording artist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Billy Taylor and Gerry Mulligan: Live at MCG

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Dr. Billy Taylor has spent so much of the latter part of his nearly sixty-year career in jazz as an educator and broadcaster that it's easy to forget what a brilliant pianist he is. This splendid 1993 date, billed as his first-ever performance with the late baritone sax legend Gerry Mulligan, should serve as a reminder of Taylor's often overlooked talents--as well as a valuable addition to Mulligan's legacy. The album features the two veterans, Taylor, then seventy-two and Mulligan, sixty-six, in a live recording culled from a series of shows at Pittsburgh's Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, a ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Gerry Mulligan: Mosaic Select 21

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Gerry Mulligan Mosaic Select 21 Mosaic Records 2006

Gerry Mulligan is one of the greatest baritone saxophonists in the history of jazz, with a truly remarkable tone, sense of phrasing, and creativity. It's easy to overlook Mulligan's composing and arranging talents, but they too are of the highest caliber. This three-disc set offers several excellent examples of Mulligan's playing and writing skills.

These sessions, mainly from December of 1957, prove that Mulligan was willing to showcase his talents in a wide variety of settings--from his quartet to an all-star nonet (with an eye-popping lineup ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gerry Mulligan/Thelonious Monk: Mulligan Meets Monk

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Mulligan and Monk: what is their common ground? Certainly not the “Cool School West Coast pianoless groups of Mulligan and Baker. Nor do you think of the Lester Young-influenced Mulligan in the same sphere (pun intended) as some of Monk's preeminent sax players, like Johnny Griffin or John Coltrane.Perhaps it is their mutual love for the Swing Era. Tunes on Mulligan Meets Monk like “Sweet and Lovely and Mulligan's “Decidedly (based on Charlie Shavers' “Undecided ) are where they both really hook up and yet thrive in their own unique way. For instance, pianist Monk's chordal solo on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mel Torm/Gerry Mulligan/George Shearing: The Classic Concert Live

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Back in '82 when this concert was recorded at Carnegie Hall, Mel Tormé was just starting his vocal ascent out of a slump by beginning a long and fruitful musical friendship with pianist George Shearing. Joined with Gerry Mulligan's big band, Tormé is in excellent form as he swings through an enthusiastic set of standards, bebop, and Ellingtonia.

This recording is quite important because it fills in gaps in each of the headliners' respective careers. Mulligan produced only one other recording that year (a soundtrack for a French film), and Shearing essentially had only his first duet with Tormé to ...



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