Recorded in 1950 originally as individually as 78's and then only later collated into being the album that that jazz fans and critics have loved and revered as both a formative album for a number of important artists (Miles Davis /Gill Evans/Gerry Mulligan etc) as well as very enjoyable listening experience in its own right.
The music was designed,consciously or not as a reaction against the then prevalent Be-Bop style which tended to highlight virtuosity and pace often at the expense of melody and variety. These compositions are all about arrangement, tunefulness,texture and discipline. A major and often neglected figure in this context, Gerry Mulligan produced some cracking tunes for the band to play here.Soloists do feature and there is many a fine example of individual brilliance but not at the expense of the overall structure of the individual piece. An example of this is how a 'hot' sax soloist like Lee Konitz plays a masterful little run on 'Boplicity' without hindering the forward melodic motion of the proceedings. As a result of all this thoughtful ensemble work each track sounds like it was played by a really big band, instead of the nonet that was really at work.The mood is relaxed and warm but never bland and prefigured the sort of work that miles would undertake with such albums as 'Miles Ahead' and 'Sketches of Spain'. This 'cool' approach to jazz opened up the gates for Miles Davis, Chet Baker , the Modern Jazz Quartet to explore the idea that the form could be more considered and what might be termed 'cultured' or orchestrated, leading too wonderful new modes of expression.
Sound quality is pretty good considering its vintage and excellent sleeve-notes complete what is a very desirable disc.