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Gerry Mulligan 1960 The Concert Jazz Band

Gerry Mulligan's fourth album to feature his Concert Jazz Band comes from a series of concerts taped in the latter half of 1960. The loping blues "Go Home," written by Ben Webster for his record date with Mulligan, is heard in two contrasting performances, both arranged by Bill Holman. The first features Mulligan on both baritone sax and piano, while he omits piano from the second version. Johnny Mandel successfully adapted two pieces for the Concert Jazz Band which were written for his best-known film soundtrack, the exotic "Barbara's Theme" (showcasing trumpeter Don Ferrara) and the moody "Theme From I Want to Live!" (with some hot playing by valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer). Tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims, who had previously toured with Mulligan's sextet and always swings effortlessly, is featured as a special guest on several of the selections, including his swinging "The Red Door" (written with Mulligan) and "Apple Core." Valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer is the other major soloist. This highly recommended album has long been out of print, but is scheduled to be included in the upcoming Mosaic boxed set of Gerry Mulligan & the Concert Jazz Band.

Gerry Mulligan 1960 The Concert Jazz Band


Gerry Mulligan's role in the history of jazz is that of a renaissance man. For most, he is considered one of, if not the, greatest baritone saxophonist the music has seen. In addition to his prowess as an instrumentalist, his skills as a composer and arranger are also viewed as being among the top in the art form. Perhaps less frequently acknowledged is his creativity as a bandleader, having been one of the pioneers of using a rhythm section without chordal accompaniment in several different formats.

1960 saw Mulligan return to the big band format he musically grew up with, albeit with his own unique twist. Dubbed the Concert Jazz Band, this group continued Mulligan's trend of featuring a chordless rhythm section. The ensemble itself was slightly smaller than a typical big band (featuring 5 woodwinds and 6 brass), but as usual for Mulligan, his arrangements were able to create the illusion of a much larger group than it actually was.

I found this record at the local at the local record store. At only $8, I figured I could risk it and pick it up without really even knowing Gerry Mulligan led a big band. The fact that it was a Gerry Mulligan record, recorded live at a jazz club, and Nat Hentoff wrote the liners were all signs of a good jazz album. I was not disappointed.

Zu diesen Schlüsselsolisten gehörten Clark Terry, Bob Brookmeyer, Zoot Sims, Willie Dennis, Mel Lewis und Mulligan selbst, der auch Klarinette und manchmal auch Klavier spielte; erste Arrangeure waren Brookmeyer, Al Cohn und Bill Holman.Von Mai bis Juli 1960 entstand in New York ein erstes Studioalbum der Bigband; im Sommer trat sie auf dem Newport Jazz Festival auf. Das zweite Album war ein Mitschnitt von ihrer Tournee aus dem Santa Monica Auditorium in Santa Monica (Kalifornien) im Oktober 1960; im November folgte eine Europatournee, bei der u. a. im Olympia (Paris), Berlin und in Zürich weitere später veröffentlichte Mitschnitte entstanden. Inzwischen waren Conte Candoli, Willie Dennis und Zoot Sims in die Band gekommen.

The Concert Jazz Band started in 1960 and toured the US. It had a deep, full voiced sound, velvety flexibility, varying forms, from whispers to rounded crescendos, huge subtle variation in dynamics. Mulligan was fortunate in gaining sponsorship from Norman Granz, owner of Verve records, who supported the band during its first year.

This issue is a great event, an extension to what we know of an important band. Never issued before, it is good that we have the opening concert of the important tour. The last concert in Paris was also recorded.

1960The Concert Jazz Band is formed. The band appeared at the Village Vanguard in New York and featured the pianoless rhythm section, five reeds (including Gerry), and six brass.

Mulligan continued to lead small, medium-sized, and large bands, all of which evolved from the pianoless quartet idea. "I'll always think as an arranger," Mulligan explained, "each band represents another writing approach." In 1960, Mulligan formed the first Concert Jazz Band. The band appeared at the Village Vanguard in New York and featured the pianoless rhythm section, five reeds (including Gerry), and six brass. Gerry toured North America and Europe with the band and recorded five albums for Norman Granz's Verve Records.

In 1975, Gerry toured with his Quartet and in the fall he performed with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Eric Kunzel, at Woolsey Hall in New Haven, Connecticut. In January 1976, a jazz gala with Peter Herbolzheimer's twenty-two-piece orchestra toured Germany with guest stars Esther Phillips, Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Nat Adderley , and Jan Toots Thieleman. Gerry then continued to tour with the Quartet until September, when he recorded Idol Gossip with a sextet, with whom he toured in Europe, joined by Art Farmer for some concerts.

In 1991, Zarin Mehta, Executive Director of the Ravinia Festival (the summer home of the Chicago Symphony), invited Mulligan to be the artistic director for the launching of the new series of jazz concerts produced as part of Ravinia's summer festival Jazz in June. Mulligan served as the artistic director in 1991 and 1992 and brought the top names in jazz to the Chicago-area festival--Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Wynton Marsalis, and many, many others.

The Gerry Mulligan Tentet Re-Birth of the Cool touring band, featuring Art Farmer on flugelhorn/trumpet and Lee Konitz on alto sax, embarked on a highly successful concert tour, premiering at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago. They played to a standing-room-only audience in Los Angeles and then made their final U.S. appearance at Carnegie Hall in New York as part of the JVC Jazz Festival. After their U.S. performances, Re-Birth of the Cool headlined the European jazz festivals and concluded the tour with a performance in Istanbul, Turkey.

Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra performed a concert, "Jeru: The Music of Gerry Mulligan," on October 19, 1996, at Lincoln Center, with guest soloists Art Farmer on trumpet, and Joe Temperley on baritone saxophone. The program included music spanning Gerry's entire career, especially the Concert Jazz Band arrangements and music from the "Age of Steam" album. President Clinton wrote a special greeting that was read to the audience by Wynton Marsalis before the performance. Gerry's wish was to have Wynton and the New Orleans Band at his funeral. As a personal gift to Gerry, Wynton surprised the audience by bringing the band from New Orleans on stage at the Lincoln Center to perform the funeral march with him at the end of the concert. After the concert, a group of Gerry's closest friends were invited to a dinner by Franca Mulligan at O'Neal's Restaurant-one of Gerry's favorites.

The permanent exhibit of the Gerry Mulligan Collection is open to the public. On display is Mulligan's gold-plated Conn saxophone, which will be played periodically in concerts at the Library of Congress. Other items on display are photographs that document Mulligan's long career, including one of him at age fifteen or sixteen playing his first instrument (the clarinet), music manuscripts in Mulligan's own hand, record covers, performance programs and posters, and a 1981 Grammy that he won for the best jazz instrumental performance on his album "Walk on the Water". Dominating the back wall of the exhibition are handsome wood-block print portraits of Gerry Mulligan in different shades, by Antonio Frasconi.

The baritone sax is the largest and lowest-pitched of the four commonly played members of the saxophone family and, although it is part of the standard big band lineup, it is heard relatively infrequently as a solo instrument in small group jazz.

In 1982 he teamed up with vocalist Mel Tormé and pianist George Shearing for a high profile concert at Carnegie Hall. Mulligan wrote the arrangements for the supporting big band, and he also contributes supporting vocals, as well as excellent baritone solos.

Gerry Mulligan grew up in Philadelphia and first learned piano, which he played occasionally. While in his teens, he wrote arrangements for Johnny Warrington's radio band (1944) and played reed instruments professionally. After moving to New York in 1946, he joined Gene Krupa's big band as staff arranger, attracting attention with his Disc Jockey Jump (1947). He then became involved with the nascent cool-jazz movement in New York, taking part in the performances (1948) and recording sessions (1949-50) of Miles Davis' nonet and contributing scores to the big bands of Elliot Lawrence and Claude Thornhill. By this time, he was specializing in baritone saxophone and playing in groups with Kai Winding and others. He also wrote scores for Stan Kenton's band and recorded with his own tentet (1951), which was modeled on Davis's ensemble.In 1952, Mulligan, then based in Los Angeles, formed his first "piano-less" quartet, with Chet Baker on trumpet. The group was instantaneously successful and brought Baker and Mulligan international acclaim. Mulligan led a new tentet and various versions of the quartet throughout the mid-1950s. He made a sensational appearance at the Salle Pleyel in Paris in 1954 and began dominating jazz opinion polls for his instrument. In 1960, he organized his own 13-piece concert jazz band with which he toured Europe in that year and Japan in 1964. After it disbanded, he became an active sideman, working often with Dave Brubeck (1968-72) and as a freelance arranger for other jazz groups. He formed a new 14-piece big band, the Age of Steam, in 1972, and was artist-in-residence at Miami University in 1974.From 1974 to 1977, Mulligan led a sextet that included Dave Samuels, and during this period he worked regularly in New York and Italy. Around the same time he began playing soprano saxophone. He formed a 14-piece band in 1978 and toured with it into the following year. During the early 1980s, he made recordings as a leader in New York that involved experiments with a 20-piece big band (1980) and electronic instruments (1982-3), but in 1986 he returned to a more familiar format as the leader of a quintet with Scott Hamilton and Grady Tate.Mulligan is among the most versatile figures in modern jazz. Although slow to develop as an instrumentalist, he has long been recognized as the most important baritone saxophonist in jazz since Harry Carney. Besides the cool idiom that he helped to create, he is equally at home in a big-band, bop, or even Dixieland context (playing clarinet in the latter), and his excellent recordings with musicians as varied as Johnny Hodges and Thelonious Monk show an unusual musical adaptability. 041b061a72

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