Gerry Mulligan And The New American Orchestra – Live 1982
This one comes via the late and lamented Jazz Alive series from NPR from 1982. The great Gerry Mulligan is featured as soloist against the backdrop of The New American Orchestra in a concert given at The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on March 13, 1982 with TIM OWENS.
It’s always been a popular collaboration, a Jazz musician with an orchestra, particularly strings. The collaborations have often yielded varying results. In this case, it’s a great combination, and the unmistakable sound of Gerry Mulligan adds the perfect combination.
Mulligan, like many jazz musicians of his era, occasionally recorded with strings. Dates included 1957 recordings with Vinnie Burke’s String Jazz Quartet, a 1959 orchestra album with André Previn and a 1965 album of the Gerry Mulligan Quintet and Strings. In 1974, Mulligan collaborated with Argentine tango musician Ástor Piazzolla. While in Milan for the recording sessions, Mulligan met his future wife, Countess Franca Rota Borghini Baldovinetti, a freelance photojournalist and reporter. In 1975, Mulligan recorded an album with Italian pianist / composer Enrico Intra, bassist/arranger Pino Presti, flutist Giancarlo Barigozzi and drummer Tullio De Piscopo. Mulligan’s more classical work with orchestras began in May 1970 with a performance of Dave Brubeck’s oratorio, The Light in the Wilderness with Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Symphony.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Mulligan worked to build and promote a repertoire of baritone saxophone music for orchestra. In 1973, Mulligan commissioned composer Frank Proto to write a Saxophone Concerto that was premiered with the Cincinnati Symphony. In 1977, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation commissioned Harry Freedman to write the saxophone concerto Celebration, which was performed by Mulligan with the CBC Symphony. In 1982, Zubin Mehta invited Mulligan to play soprano saxophone in a New York Philharmonic performance of Ravel’s Boléro.
I don’t think this concert has been issued – I’m not sure if any of the concerts from the Jazz Alive series have been issued in any form. If they haven’t, that would be a terrible shame, as the series offered a lot of memorable performances.
Maybe it’s time for a petition campaign . . .
In the meantime – the immortal Gerry Mulligan.
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