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Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster

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Album Review

Make no mistake about it, the swing and bop start right here on this legendary 1959 session between baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan and tenor man Ben Webster. Produced by Norman Granz as an early Verve album, this Mobile Fidelity 24-karat gold-disc reissue is sonically worth the extra bread as it feels like you're right in the control room every note of the way. The opening track, Billy Strayhorn's "Chelsea Bridge" is lush and emotional and truly sets the tone for this album. With Jimmy Rowles on piano (his intro on "Sunday" sounds like a ragtimer like Willie "The Lion" Smith just pushed him off the stool before the band came in), Mel Lewis on drums, and the always superb Leroy Vinnegar on bass present and accounted for, the rhythm section is superbly swinging with just the right amount of bop lines and chords in the mix to spice things up. The ghost of Duke Ellington hovers over every note on this record (Billy Strayhorn was one of his main arrangers) and that is a very good thing, indeed. There's a beautiful, understated quality to the music on this session that makes it the perfect relaxing around the house on a rainy day disc to pop in the player. File this one under cool, very smooth, and supple.

Customer Reviews

Nice mood, clever and mellow

I'm a developing jazz aficianado. I don't care what the critics say I listen to what feels good. So I took to Ben Webster based on his warm expressive style. I love the sound of the Bari Sax in funkier styles of music and was searching around for good players of the instrument and found this session. I am now a Gerry Mulligan fan as well. I was suprised to hear the bari sax played with such lightness in the upper register. These two players sound wonderful together. Their swinging harmonies have a feel that will lighten your spirit and have you taking a pleasant trip away from the world for a while back to 1959. It seemed like a fertile time for both of their careers and the artistry and mastery of form is doubtless. I think you will enjoy this one if you like either or both of the artists. Cheers.


One of the reviews says buy this album and pronto so that is what I did I bought this album and pronto aint gonna regret it.

AWSOME PLACE to start or end up. Do yourself a favor and BUY THIS ALBUM ! 5 BIG STARS !

This is a smooth and dreamy album. Just like Heroin this warm smooth glides and soothes the savage soul and the raging monsters of mayhem and go's down like a ice cold Coke-a-Cola on a sticky hot New Orleans Night. If your just starting a Jazz collection then by ALL MEANS BUY THIS ALBUM. GET hip quick .................. And don't for God sakes be no square ... man like get with it. And when your listening to this class act remember this, Gerry Mulligan's woman left him to hook up with "CRAZY JOE GALLO" the gangster that Bob Dylan wrote the song about. Small world . And its just getting smaller. So take my GOOD advice and score dis MP3. PRONTO !


Born: April 6, 1927 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

The most famous and probably greatest jazz baritonist of all time, Gerry Mulligan was a giant. A flexible soloist who was always ready to jam with anyone from Dixielanders to the most advanced boppers, Mulligan brought a somewhat revolutionary light sound to his potentially awkward and brutal horn and played with the speed and dexterity of an altoist. Mulligan started on the piano before learning clarinet and the various saxophones. His initial reputation was as an arranger. In 1944 he wrote charts...
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