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Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster" - Gerry Mulligan (bs); Ben Webster (ts); Jimmy Rowles (p); Leroy Vinnegar (b); Mel Lewis (dr).
Gerry Mulligan’s sessions with Ben Webster, Johnny Hodges and Paul Desmond belong in every well-stocked LP collection of jazz fans all over the globe. But if you happen to have missed out, then here’s the chance to buy a fantastic, top notch re-release and put the needle to the groove as fast as you can. From first to last, you will hear what made jazz what it is – from its beginnings around 1900 up to the present day: communication and interaction. Two highly sensitive, top calibre musicians – neither of them easy men to deal with – were invited into the Verve Studio towards the end of 1959. Here they prepared themselves well, practiced together, and devoted themselves to six numbers in a relaxed atmosphere of mutual respect where neither attempted to blast away the other. The numbers all come from the Duke Ellington Songbook and Gerry Mulligan’s own, and are a sure guarantee for the best of the best. It must be mentioned that one of the best rhythm groups of westcoast jazz – Jimmy Rowles, Leroy Vinegar and Mel Lewis – provide the amazingly sensitive background for these two giants of mainstream jazz. The excellent recording technique of the Verve Studio in Los Angeles ensures that even 50 years later every single note played on baritone and tenor saxophones is sheer pleasure.
Recording: November and December 1959 in Los Angeles. Production: Norman Granz.
Reissue by Speakers Corner. A limited Audiophile Pressing.