Gerry Mulligan played several concerts at the Salle Pleyel during a 1954 visit to Paris, excerpts from which are heard on this CD and a first volume, issued separately. One of many groups the baritone saxophonist led with valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, the quartet is rounded out by bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Frank Isola (who sticks to brushes). Mulligan and Brookmeyer work magic together as they alternate between taking the lead and providing backgrounds for one another, while also engaging in some terrific counterpoint. The audience enthusiastically responds to the mix of standards and Mulligan's originals. Among the many highlights are the lush "The Nearness of You," the playful "Makin' Whoopee," both takes of "Laura" and the baritone saxophonist's intricate tribute to disc jockey Jimmy Lyons, "Line for Lyons." This CD and its companion volume should be considered among Gerry Mulligan's most essential recordings.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden