Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

290

Billy Taylor and Gerry Mulligan: Live at MCG

Joel Roberts By

Sign in to view read count
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 nonprofit venue with a deep commitment to jazz and an exceptional catalogue of CDs. Together, Taylor and Mulligan, ably backed by bassist Chip Jackson and drummer Carl Allen from Taylor's working group of the time, cover a set of familiar standards—"Stompin' at the Savoy, "Just You, Just Me, "Body and Soul, "Darn That Dream —that might seem hackneyed in less capable hands. But these masters perform the old tunes with infectious enthusiasm and fresh ideas; for instance, treating the Jerome Kern chestnut "All the Things You Are as an improvised piece of chamber jazz on a memorable duet. Throughout the album, they convey a tangible sense of joy and ease in their playing and in each other's company—the byproduct of artists who've established their reputations and have nothing to prove.

Taylor, who remains extraordinarily active to this day despite having announced his 'retirement' as a performer a few years ago, is in fine form here, presenting the sophisticated brand of bebop that's been his trademark since he appeared alongside the likes of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Billie Holiday in the 1940s. And, of course, there are few sounds in jazz as distinctive—and as sorely missed—as Mulligan's deep, resonant baritone saxophone. Recorded just two years before his death, Mulligan displays the remarkable nimbleness and tenderness on the unwieldy instrument that made him its foremost practitioner.

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 Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Copenhagen Live 1964 CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Somewhere Glimmer CD/LP/Track Review Somewhere Glimmer
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "Moon Trio: Earth-Time" CD/LP/Track Review Moon Trio: Earth-Time
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Hybrido - From Rio to Wayne Shorter" CD/LP/Track Review Hybrido - From Rio to Wayne Shorter
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Right Up On" CD/LP/Track Review Right Up On
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review The Unknown
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Quartet Plus, Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review Quartet Plus, Volume 2
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "The Sun Though the Rain" CD/LP/Track Review The Sun Though the Rain
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 31, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!