Paul Desmond / Gerry Mulligan

Two of a Mind

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AllMusic Review by

Altoist Paul Desmond and baritonist Gerry Mulligan always made for a perfect team during their infrequent collaborations. Both of the saxophonists had immediately distinctive light tones, strong wits, and the ability to improvise melodically. Here the two masterful reed players are featured in pianoless quartets that also include Wendell Marshall, Joe Benjamin or John Beal on bass, and Connie Kay or Mel Lewis on drums. The songs all utilize common chord changes, including the two "originals" ("Two of a Mind" and "Blight of the Fumble Bee"), and the interplay between Desmond and Mulligan is consistently delightful. Highly recommended. [Some reissues add five bonus tracks: two alternate takes of album tracks, a laid-back take of "Easy Living" that shows off Mulligan's way with a ballad, and two takes of "Untitled Blues Waltz" that feature Jim Hall on guitar and a very squeaky drum pedal.]

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