In 1977, a long-lost Gerry Mulligan big-band session from 1957 was released for the first time. The four selections featured the baritonist's arrangements for a 15-piece group that included such notables as altoist Lee Konitz, Zoot Sims, and Charlie Rouse on tenors, and valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer. To fill out the LP, two of Mulligan's vintage arrangements for the Gene Krupa Orchestra ("How High the Moon" and the hit "Disc Jockey Jump") from 1946-1947, and a pair of charts for Elliot Lawrence's big band ("Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" and "Elevation") were reissued. On those titles, Mulligan only plays one solo; he is not even on the Krupa recordings, since he was much better-known as an arranger than as a player at the time. In 1998, all of the music from the album (which was titled The Arranger) was reissued on this CD, along with two alternates from the 1957 set and a newly discovered alternate take of "Disc Jockey Jump." The music overall (even the early titles) definitely has the good humor and swinging flavor of usually found in Mulligan's music, and even if it is not quite as essential as his most significant work, this CD is easily recommended to the baritonist's fans.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow