349

Billy Taylor and Gerry Mulligan: Live at MCG

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
Billy Taylor and Gerry Mulligan: Live at MCG 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 and author. His career began in 1944, and he's enjoyed working alongside such musical powerhouses as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. Mulligan, who passed away in 1996, was an arranger, composer, saxophonist and conductor, and has shared the stage or studio with icons including Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Lester Young, Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck and Billie Holliday.

Live at MCG captures the pair, backed by Taylor's regular sidemen, during a series of 1993 concerts at the MCG Music Hall. The ensemble performs ten songs, including two originals. Mulligan's baritone sax carries most of the lead on the delightful "Stompin' at the Savoy, though Taylor also licks his chops. Drummer Carl Allen helps underscore "Just You Just Me with some crisp work on the cymbals and snare. Bassist Chip Jackson opens up during Taylor's solo.

One of the original songs is Mulligan's "Line for Lyons. Here, the quartet functions more as a unit than on most other tracks. Mulligan carries the lead, but Taylor, Allen and Jackson also give strong performances. Again, Jackson shows his skills during Taylor's solo, and later delivers a solo of his own. The other original is Taylor's "Capricious, an energetic closer to this collection. As with "Line for Lyons, the foursome is more of a unit than on other tracks. Allen's rim shots and variances on the toms and cymbals help give this an extra kick.

Live at MCG serves a dual purpose: It entertains while providing a subliminal lesson in improvisation, a hallmark of jazz past and present. Having these two masters work together enhances the experience.

Track Listing: Stompin' at the Savoy; Just You Just Me; Darn That Dream; All the Things You Are; Laura; Line for Lyons; Body and Soul; (Back Home Again In) Indiana; Come Sunday; Capricious.

Personnel: Billy Taylor; piano; Gerry Mulligan; baritone saxophone; Chip Jackson; bass; Carl Allen; drums.

Title: Live at MCG | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: MCG Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Road to Forever" CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "All My Treasures" CD/LP/Track Review All My Treasures
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 20, 2016
Read "Burning Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Burning Ghosts
by Troy Collins
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "Conditions" CD/LP/Track Review Conditions
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "How to Build a City" CD/LP/Track Review How to Build a City
by Jim Olin
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "Subterranea" CD/LP/Track Review Subterranea
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 28, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.