Gerry Mulligan

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Salle Playel 1954

Featuring Bob Brookmeyer on valve trombone, Red Mitchell on bass, and Frank Isola on drums, it is hard to imagine how this live session of Mulligan’s highly distinctive piano-less ‘chamber’ jazz could be improved upon. The solos are pure melodic invention throughout, the arrangements of numbers like ‘Love me or leave me’ and ‘Come out wherever you are’ are inspired, and the tunes, especially Mulligan’s numbers such as ‘Gold Rush’, ‘Soft Shoes’, ‘Walkin’ Shoes’, and ‘Five Brothers’, are unforgettable. The two highlights are ‘Limelight’ and ‘Bark for Barksdale’: swinging and melodic, rather than emotionally intense, these are nevertheless as good as almost anything in jazz.