Gerry Mulligan rose to prominence in 1950 with his appearance on Miles Davis's revolutionary BIRTH OF THE COOL album, where his compositions, arrangements, and baritone saxophone work generated much acclaim. That appearance was the first highlight in a spectacular and varied career that lasted well into the '90s. Although Mulligan was a restless musician who developed steadily and could play in nearly any style, he is still most often associated with his early, "west coast" cool-jazz sound.
Much of that style is featured on YOUNG MULLIGAN, a double-disc set that spotlights his multiple talents. The first disc compiles some of Mulligan's best work as a sideman, including dates with Gene Krupa, Kai Winding, and the three tracks Mulligan penned for the BIRTH OF THE COOL sessions ("Jeru," "Venus de Milo," and "Rocker"). The second disc showcases the artist's work as a leader of various ensembles (including his original quintet with Chet Baker on trumpet), with plenty of his brilliant, laid-back sax work on display.