Gerry Mulligan this weekend. Recorded at the Oper in Leipzig Germany on September 9, 1995 and broadcast by MDR-Radio. He is joined by Ted Rosenthal, Dean Johnson and Ron Vincent. Gerry Mulligan has been considered an icon in the realm of Jazz for decades. Since his earliest days as an arranger/baritone sax player for Claude Thornhill‘s band in the late 1940s to his work with Miles Davis during the milestone Birth Of The Cool sessions, Mulligan has been an integral part in the great stylistic leaps Jazz has undergone since the 1950s.
This 1995 concert comes a bit late in his career. Sadly, he would be gone less than six months after this concert. But his sound was still fresh and vibrant and his compositions were always adventures eagerly witnessed and absorbed by audiences.
I think it’s safe to say that Gerry Mulligan was in at the ground floor when Bop came into being. Certainly, his work on the West Coast made him an icon of the Cool School of West Coast Jazz musicians, including working with Chet Baker, Bob Brookmeyer and a virtual who’s who of names passing through L.A.
In addition to leading his own group throughout the years, Mulligan was also an arrange and composer for numerous organizations in addition to Claude Thornhill, Mulligan also began a stint of arranging for Stan Kenton as well as performing roles as sideman for Paul Desmond, Duke Ellington, Ben Webster, Johnny Hodges, Jimmy Witherspoon, André Previn, Billie Holiday, Marian McPartland, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Stan Getz, Thelonious Monk, Fletcher Henderson, Manny Albam, Quincy Jones, Kai Winding, Miles Davis, and Dave Brubeck, to name a few.
One of the essential musicians to study and enjoy, whether you’re a Jazz devotee or just like music for the notes. His recorded legacy is vast and it is required listening – there is a wealth of musical treasures in there. Please check him out.
But for now, enjoy this live gig from 1995.