Gerry Mulligan

Western Reunion

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Gerry Mulligan recorded extensively as a leader in his lifetime, though his short-lived sextet of the mid-'50s was not represented very much in his discography by commercial recordings. This historical discovery, a 1956 midnight concert at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw that was also evidently broadcast, is an important addition, as one can hear the baritone saxophonist with valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims, trumpeter Jon Eardley, bassist Bill Crow, and drummer Donald Bailey, all of whom would work in future Mulligan bands at one time or another. The solos and ensembles are outstanding throughout both sets of the concert, particularly in the leader's intricate "Line for Lyons" (though the song is unfortunately joined in progress), a breezy version of "The Red Door," Eardley's snappy "Demanton" (based on the changes to "Sweet Georgia Brown"), and the moody setting of the standard "My Funny Valentine" (a hit for Mulligan when he co-led his quartet with Chet Baker a few years earlier). The mono sound was mixed from several different microphones located around the stage. This live CD is far more than a curiosity; Gerry Mulligan fans should consider it essential.

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