Gerry Mulligan

Spring Is Sprung

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This obscure Phillips LP features Gerry Mulligan leading a quartet with his frequent collaborator Bob Brookmeyer, bassist Bill Crow, and drummer Gus Johnson. Mulligan and Brookmeyer always seem to stimulate one another's playing to a high level, and this album is no exception. The group gets into a swinging groove right away with its updated treatment of a Count Basie favorite, "Jive at Five," followed by Mulligan's brisk yet intricate jazz waltz "Four for Three." Brookmeyer switches to piano for the leader's loping "Subterranean Blues." Mulligan takes his place at the keyboard for "Spring Is Sprung," a brisk blues that showcases the valve trombonist extensively, though Mulligan's piano chops shouldn't be discounted. The session wraps with yet another look at Brookmeyer's "Open Country," a great piece of which Mulligan was very fond. This long out of print record is overdue to be reissued on CD.

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