Article number: 101700
The youngest of four brothers, New Yorker Gerry Mulligan spent his teenage years in many different parts of the United States, learning in succession to play piano, clarinet, alto, tenor and fi nally baritone sax. Together with Gil Evans and Miles Davis, the 20-year-old worked on the revolutionary nonet compositions for Birth of the Cool in 1948. The gangly sandy-haired musician with his big Conn baritone made his recording debut as a leader in 1951 and moved to Los Angeles as arranger for the Stan Kenton Big Band. With Chet Baker he formed a popular piano-free quartet and worked as a sideman on numerous recording sessions. He never liked the label West Coast Jazz: "My bands would have been successful anywhere." In 1960 he put together the successful Concert Jazz Band and around 1968 began a sporadic but sustained partnership with Dave Brubeck. In Stuttgart, now aged fi fty, he was already looking back on a career spanning almost thirty years and was much in demand at that time as a soloist for symphonic saxophone concertos. Mulligan presents his handpicked sextet at the Liederhalle, where the opening number For An Unfi nished Woman shows that far from being tinged with nostalgia his approach is still a contemporary work in progress - albeit one that never abandoned its Cool School roots. The irrefutable evidence is to be found in inspired, elegant versions of classics such as Line For Lyons and My Funny Valentine, as well as in Mulligan's sense of theatre.
Personell: Gerry Mulligan (bs), Dave Samuels (vib), Thomas Fay (p), Mike Santiago (g), George Duvivier (b), Bobby Rosengarden (dr).