This Gerry Mulligan compilation is obviously a bootleg, since each of the labels issuing this material cared little if several of the songs are incorrectly titled, none of the composers are credited, and the dates of recording are completely wrong; mistakes on the original Alto LP Provocative Tones have been replicated on every reissue which has followed. "Everything Happens to Me" features the baritone saxophonist with an unidentified orchestra in March, 1955, on the original Tonight Show, when it was hosted by Steve Allen; likewise, a sextet performance with trumpeter Jon Eardley of "Bernie's Tune" comes from the same time frame. The remaining six tracks, three of which are misidentified (the correct titles are "Bweebida Bobdida," "Lady Chatterly's Mother" and "Barbara's Theme") come from Birdland broadcasts in 1961 and 1962, with Mulligan leading a large ensemble that includes many members of his Concert Jazz Band. Mulligan's moving remake of "My Funny Valentine" and a Latin-flavored "Out of This World" are among the highlights. While the muddy fidelity is typical for many broadcast issues from the '50s and '60s, the performances are complete and first rate, even if the packaging and generic liner notes are worthless.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden