Gerry Mulligan

Live in Rome 1959

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

European television did a better job at archiving live jazz than American stations during the 1950s and '60s, as evidenced by the outpouring of DVDs of European broadcasts. The music from this 1959 appearance by the Gerry Mulligan Quartet in Rome has been widely circulated on LP and CD in various forms, but seeing the black-and-white video footage to go along with the music will be incentive for Mulligan fans to seek out this edition. The video is generally well-preserved with relatively few flaws in the aged source material, and while the camera work is odd at times (such as focusing on the upper third of the leader's body instead of showing his hands, or showing the musicians' shadows on the screen instead of focusing on them), at least there isn't the MTV-like rapid-fire flitting from one angle to the next every few seconds. Mulligan does get annoyed with the audio technician when he has difficulty with the microphone announcing the first song, though the problem is quickly corrected. The baritonist's intricate counterpoint with trumpeter Art Farmer is magical, while the leader's witty solos are also a highlight. Bassist Bill Crow and drummer Dave Bailey provide excellent support, while there are two audio-only tracks as a bonus.

blue highlight denotes track pick