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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not to be Missed, 3 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Jazzplus: The Concert Jazz Band '63 + The Concert Jazz Band (Audio CD)
I purchased this at the same time as the VANGUARD ALBUM. If you read my review of that you will see I write very briefly of the provenance of the Concert Jazz Band. I mentioned the name of the band sounded shall we say a bit pretentious a bit like a name of a Stan Kenton band. Then I said " it is what it says on the tin" and that means it absolutely revels in playing before a live audience. The two enormously respond to each other. The band is very exciting but also beautiful the spontaneity seemingly infectious to both band and audience. This is a studio recording so is it as good as the Vanguard album? The answer is yes most certainly. This is in effect two vinyl albums one which I have owned for years and indeed I still have and it sounds superb on my excellent turntable system. The music is much in the style and sound of the Vanguard. But the studio recording and acoustic are much better. The two vinyl albums that make up this Cd were " Gerry Mulligan '63" and " Gerry Mulligan The Concert Jazz Band" the first titled album ie 63 was in fact recorded in the studio in 62 and has probably the slightly stronger solo strength .The second Album see above was recorded in 1960 but is still well represented in the solo department. The notes are minute reprints of the notes of the sleeve of the twelve inch LP so you might need a magnifying glass to read them. The music is every bit as good as the Vanguard but there are two superb pieces not on the Vanguard that I must highlight . Firstly a mini suite consisting of two pieces by Bob Brookmeyer called Big City Life and Big City Blues they are quite simply beautiful, the titles are very apt and Broomeyer utilises very effectively the sound Of Jim Halls wonderful guitar. There is a touch of the Basie sound here but Jim Halls playing harmonically and melodically is a bit more sophisticated than the cornerstone of the Basie rhythm section Freddy Green. The other track I would like to draw your attention to is Django Reinhardt's "Manoir de mes reves" it is translated as " Django's Castle" perhaps I am being finicky but a better translation would be "House of my dreams" just a point. Just read the beautiful French Title and enjoy the gorgeous sound. Who did the arrangement I do not know. But a at guess perhaps Mulligan? This then is another stunning album an example of what can be done with the big band ,exciting and beautiful. Not the first leader to do this, but a worthy exponent of the wonderful legacy of his great idle Edward 'Duke' Ellington's approach to big band jazz. Buy now and be happy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tracklist, 12 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Jazzplus: The Concert Jazz Band '63 + The Concert Jazz Band (Audio CD)
NEW DIGITAL REMASTER
FULL LP-ARTWORKS IN BOOKLET
---------------------------
01 Little Rock Getaway 3:07
02 Ballad 4:16
03 Big City Life 5:24
04 Big City Blues 5:44
05 My Kind Of Love 3:56
06 Pretty Little Gypsy 3:37
07 Bridgehampton South 4:27
08 Bridgehampton Strut 3:54
09 Sweet And Slow 5:18
10 Bweebida Bobbida 5:47
11 Manoir de mes rêves (Django's Castle) 3:50
12 You Took Advantage Of Me 4:39
13 Out Of This World 3:50
14 My Funny Valentine 5:03
15 Broadway 5:21
16 I'm Gonna Go Fishin' 5:54

THE CONCERT JAZZ BAND '63
GERRY MULLIGAN baritone saxophone, clarinet, piano; with DOC SEVERINSEN, CLARK TERRY, BOB BROOKMEYER, JIM HALL, GUS JOHNSON a.o.
Produced by GERRY MULLIGAN;
Originally released as Verve V6-8515

THE CONCERT JAZZ BAND
GERRY MULLIGAN baritone saxophone, piano; with CONTE CANDOLI, BOB BROOKMEYER, ZOOT SIMS, GENE ALLEN, MEL LEWIS a.o.
Produced by GERRY MULLIGAN;
Originally released as Verve MGV 8388
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two LP releases coupled together to produce a great CD., 11 July 2014
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This review is from: Jazzplus: The Concert Jazz Band '63 + The Concert Jazz Band (Audio CD)
This CD comprises two releases: "Concert Band '63" and "Concert Band '60". The personnel is a little different but the format of the band remains much the same. Large brass sections, a reed section, bass and drums. When a piano is required this is played by Gerry Mulligan. On "'63" guitarist Jim Hall is featured. The number of soloists is deliberately restricted to GM, a trumpet, a trombone (Bob Brookmeyer) and perhaps another reed player. This was done to give the concert band a "small group feel". Many of the tunes are from members of the band, especially on "'63", who also have done many of the arrangements.

The Concert Band was a brave experiment, that eventually had to be disbanded because of the expense of running a big band. These GM recordings feature a band unlike most other big band to that date. The sound is quite distinct from say Ellington, Basie, Herman, Kenton or the bands of the thirties. The sound really is closer to that of a small group.

I believe that the 1960 album was the first recording of the band, and the 1963 album its last, so we have a bit of history here.

I actually prefer the overall musical effect of the earlier album, but both sessions (studio rather than concert) are very good. Overall I think that the music on the Village Vanguard album is marginally better, but it is a very short album than this "double" album. Both represent great value for money. Very enjoyable and different albums.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mulligans Big Band in The 60s Scores Again !!!, 9 May 2013
By 
leif karlsson (forshaga, Sweden) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jazzplus: The Concert Jazz Band '63 + The Concert Jazz Band (Audio CD)
These Tracks cant be missed in any serious jazzcollection!!Some of Gerry Mulligans
Greatest moments came with his Big Band!!ENJOY!!!!Play again and Again!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Duke's in Bed"?, 20 Aug. 2014
By 
Mr. B. Kendrick "Barrie A Kendrick" (Buckhurst Hill, Essex, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Jazzplus: The Concert Jazz Band '63 + The Concert Jazz Band (Audio CD)
This must be the one and only time that Duke Ellington will ever be referred to as 'idle'!
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