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Gerry Mulligan: The Gerry Mulligan Quartet [Verve]

Album Notes

One of the harder Gerry Mulligan records to find from the early '60s is the Verve disc simply titled The Gerry Mulligan Quartet. The baritone saxophonist has one of his favorite collaborators, valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, on hand, along with bassist Bill Crow and drummer Gus Johnson. The interplay between Mulligan and Brookmeyer rekindles the magic of their work together a half dozen years earlier, as they transform the often syrupy "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" into a strutting unabashed swinger. Brookmeyer switches to piano for Mulligan's brisk blues "Piano Train." In addition to moving arrangements of the standards "Lost in the Stars" and "I Believe in You," Mulligan also contributes two originals, "Love in New Orleans" and a revival of an earlier work, "I Know, Don't Know How," taped during a live set at the Village Vanguard. Although Mulligan was outspoken against producers who dug up unreleased material, this album deserves to be reissued in expanded form. There are 15 additional songs that remain unissued from the sessions for the original release, and it's a safe bet that they are every bit as entertaining as the six tracks present on this highly recommended record. ~ Ken Dryden


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