This Lone Hill Jazz compilation brings together the full contents of two separate LPs, The Gerry Mulligan Quartet, recorded for Verve and the Phillips album Spring Is Sprung. Both releases have identical personnel, with the baritone saxophonist joined by valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, bassist Bill Crow, and drummer Gus Johnson. The first six selections are from the Verve recording. The baritone saxophonist and trombonist are in top form, equally brilliant as soloists and when feeding off one another. Mulligan reworks the often maudlin "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" into a swinging chart. Mulligan's two originals, "Love in New Orleans" and "I Know, Don't Know How" (the second piece recorded live at the Village Vanguard), stand out. Brookmeyer switches to piano for Mulligan's upbeat blues "Piano Train." The next six tracks are from the latter album. Mulligan's intricate jazz waltz "Four for Three." is an opportunity to show off some fine counterpoint. Brookmeyer plays piano on the Mulligan's loping "Subterranean Blues," while Mulligan takes his place on "Spring Is Sprung," a breezy blues showcasing the valve trombonist at length. Another obvious highlight is Brookmeyer's "Open Country," a piece that turns up on a number of Mulligan's recordings. Finally, the last two bonus tracks are taken from the Pacific Jazz Reunion sessions featuring Mulligan with his earlier quartet partner Chet Baker, though these performances are not as high caliber as the music made by Mulligan and Brookmeyer elsewhere on this CD.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden