on 1 April 2012
Nobody swung the baritone quite like Gerry Mulligan, and this live date from 1977, recorded before an appreciative audience in Stuttgart, Germany, captures the legendary musician in top form. Mulligan was one of the best "fire and ice" players ever, combining modernist cool with emotional heat. His light yet rich tone and his unmatched speed and fluidity are displayed to full advantage on this recording, which must be considered among his best. This set also foregrounds Mulligan's compositional prowess, featuring no less than seven originals, including the superb "For an Unfinished Woman" and "K-4 Pacific." Mulligan is backed by a tight ensemble comprised of vibist Dave Samuels, pianist Thomas Fay, guitarist Mike Santiago, bassist George Duvivier and drummer Bobby Rosengarden. Each rises to the challenge of the material and the inspired playing of their leader. Samuels and Santiago are particular standouts, complementing Mulligan's aesthetic while adding their own contemporary touches. Happily, the quality of the sound matches the caliber of the playing; it's crystal-clear, with a warmth and intimacy surprising for a live date. This amazing set comes courtesy of the new Jazzhaus label, which has launched an ambitious release program drawn from a vast collection of German radio and television recordings. Here's hoping jazz fans of every stripe get behind them in a big way.
on 8 June 2012
For any Gerry Mulligan fan, this CD is a must. It is a beautifully recorded testament to the unfailing brilliance of the man and his music. Mulligan is capable of putting together virtually any combination of instruments and presenting them in such a way as to take the breath away. At this German concert he is supported by, for him, the unusual line up of vibes and electric guitar, and what a wonderfully musical combination they form. The programme the sextet perform is, as ever with Mulligan, varied and impeccably played and is clearly enthusiastically received by the audience - and why wouldn't it be? Do yourself a favour - buy this CD - you'll certainly not regret it. A pure joy from beginning to end.
on 10 July 2013
This 1977 concert recording has Gerry Mulligan on a very aggressive and swinging evening. The rhythm section of piano, vibes, guitar, double bass and drums, reflects the line-ups of vibist Gary Burton's early small groups. On this recording, Gerry Mulligan plays his own compositions and others. Or possibly "re-explores" should be the expression. Have made the mistake before of thinking Gerry Mulligan could be lethargic when he was the only front-line horn. Glad I didn't let this CD slide by.
This live recording from 1977 is excellent (as are other releases in this "Legends Live" series on Jazzhaus featuring a number of well known musicians). The support musicians are either little known or unknown to me but I can assure you this is a first-rate concert. The line up is Mulligan (baritone) plus vibes, piano, guitar, bass and drums. The tunes a mixture of "the old and new". The oldies include "Line For Lyons", "My Funny Valentine", "Satin Doll" and "K-4 Pacific" (from "The Age Of Steam"); New to me are "For An Unfinished Lady", "Idol Gossip" and "Night lights". Altogether nine tracks filling the CD (68.32).
I love live concert recordings. They frequently score "hands down" over contrived studio sessions. The sound quality here is first class.
A delight from beginning to end.