Gerry Mulligan

Listened to a few Mulligan records today & Yesterday: Gerry Mulligan meets Paul Desmond, The Original Quartet with Chet Baker & a cool record where Monk and Mulligan share leadership called Mulligan meets Monk.

All three were great in their own way. Mulligan & Desmond blend really beautifully. The Original Quartet sides have some excellent counterpoint (who writes like that?) & a really neat sound, like they’re playing in someone’s garage, very live and unpolished. The record with Monk is cool, though I can’t get Ethan Iverson’s bugaboos about playing Monk out of my head, and it kind of colours the way I hear this record (like, you can’t play Monk, you’re not Monk! But wait, you’re with Monk, so does that make it OK?). Plus having read this blindfold test recently, I can’t stop thinking about what it would be like to work with TM – would it be fun, or just kind of confusing?

Miles w/ MJQ, Dexter Gordon

Wow, this Miles record with the MJQ & Lester Young is cool, European Tour ’56 (Bonus Track Version). The way Lester lays back on How High the Moon is kind of unbelievable. Didn’t listen all the way through, but I sure should will.

I got the idea to listen to a couple of Dex’s records from an interview with Chuck Berg published on Jazz Profiles. I Listened to a compilation of Ballads (called, appropriately enough, Ballads) & Go. The quoting thing is cool – as they say in the interview, you can even catch a bit of Santa Claus is Coming to Town on the recorded version of one of the tracks, though I can’t remember which. His playing sounds real easy & big.