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Album Review

Gerry Mulligan was only 19 in 1946 when he joined Gene Krupa's band, playing a bit of alto and tenor sax, but primarily serving as an arranger. But the Verve LP Gene Krupa Plays Gerry Mulligan Arrangements wasn't made until 1958, long after Mulligan went out on his own. Although there are solo features built into the framework of each piece, Mulligan was quite confident in his ability to showcase the entire band as well. Mulligan's "Disc Jockey Jump" became a hit for Krupa, though it wasn't recorded until after he left the band. The vague liner notes fail to identify any of the musicians in Krupa's big band, which includes Jimmy Cleveland, Hank Jones, Barry Galbraith, Kai Winding, and Phil Woods, though Woods' alto sax solos are easily identifiable to his fans. Baritone saxophonist Danny Bank is a bit disappointing compared to what Mulligan could have recorded on the instrument, though it would have been unlikely that the composer would have been interested in rejoining Krupa, even for one record date, at the time it was recorded. It's surprising that this excellent LP remained out of print for so long, particularly with the strong resurgence of interest in all aspects of Mulligan's work since his death in 1996.


Born: 15 January 1909 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

The first drummer to be a superstar, Gene Krupa may not have been the most advanced drummer of the 1930s but he was in some ways the most significant. Prior to Krupa, drum solos were a real rarity and the drums were thought of as a merely supportive instrument. With his good looks and colorful playing, he became a matinee idol and changed the image of drummers forever. Gene Krupa made history with his first record. For a session in 1927 with the McKenzie-Condon Chicagoans, he became the first musician...
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Plays Gerry Mulligan Arrangements, Gene Krupa
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