Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Gerry Mulligan - The Complete Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster Sessions

lthough an earlier CD added five previously unissued tracks to the original LP Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster, this Verve Master Edition two-CD set adds just about everything else recorded during the two sessions that produced the original record, and also features 20-bit sound. Even though Gerry Mulligan was outspoken against issuing material omitted from his original recordings, it is a treat to hear how the songs evolved in the studio. Webster and Mulligan seem mutually inspired throughout the sessions, and strong performances by pianist Jimmy Rowles, bassist Leroy Vinnegar, and drummer Mel Lewis are of considerable help. The music is presented in the order in which it was recorded, with each CD devoted to a separate session. In both cases it is clear that the initial takes of music from the Ellington songbook ("In a Mellotone" and "Chelsea Bridge") are more focused than the follow-up versions. They only needed one try to nail "What Is This Thing Called Love?" (also left off the LP), in an understated setting that shows off their beautiful interplay. Their barely disguised reworking of "I Got Rhythm," called "Who's Got Rhythm," was likely an effortless performance, though Webster seems to briefly laugh in the middle of his solo. Webster's swinging "Fajista" opens the second date, followed by two takes of Mulligan's beautiful ballad "Tell Me When." Webster's "Blues in B-Flat" is another fine swinger inexplicably left off the LP, and Rowles kicks off the oldie "Sunday" with a brief stride piano introduction (something Webster played himself but rarely in a recording studio). Fans on a budget can probably make due with the earlier CD reissue but serious fans of Mulligan and/or Webster should invest in this very rewarding set instead. - by Ken Dryden, AMG

Artist: Gerry Mulligan
Album: The Complete Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster Sessions
Year: 1959
Label: Verve Master Edition (1997)
Runtime: 141:46

CD1 tracks:
1.  In a Mellow Tone (Duke Ellington / Milt Gabler) 7:21
2.  In a Mellow Tone (Duke Ellington / Milt Gabler) 5:44
3.  What Is This Thing Called Love? (Cole Porter) 7:22
4.  Chelsie Bridge (Billy Strayhorn) 7:39
5.  Chelsie Bridge (Billy Strayhorn) 5:03
6.  Go Home (Gerry Mulligan/Ben Webster) 10:01
7.  Go Home (Gerry Mulligan/Ben Webster) 6:54
8.  Who's Got Rhythm? (Gerry Mulligan) 7:26
9.  For Bessie (Ben Webster) 5:38
10.  Go Home (Gerry Mulligan/Ben Webster) 1:44
11.  Go Home (Gerry Mulligan/Ben Webster) 1:30

CD2 tracks:
1.  Fajista (Ben Webster) 1:34
2.  Fajista (Ben Webster) 6:21
3.  Fajista (Ben Webster) 1:37
4.  Fajista (Ben Webster) 5:58
5.  Tell Me When (Gerry Mulligan) 5:02
6.  Tell Me When (Gerry Mulligan) 5:29
7.  Blues In B Flat (Gerry Mulligan / Ben Webster) 2:46
8.  Blues In B Flat (Gerry Mulligan / Ben Webster) 8:38
9.  Blues In B Flat (Gerry Mulligan / Ben Webster) 7:23
10.  The Cat Walk (Gerry Mulligan) 3:26
11.  The Cat Walk (Gerry Mulligan) 5:45
12.  The Cat Walk (Gerry Mulligan) 2:13
13.  The Cat Walk (Gerry Mulligan) 6:19
14.  Sunday (Chester Conn / Benny Krueger / Ned Miller / Jule Styne) 5:32
15.  Sunday (Chester Conn / Benny Krueger / Ned Miller / Jule Styne) 7:21

Personnel:
Gerry Mulligan (Baritone Saxophone)
Ben Webster (Tenor Saxophone)
Jimmie Rowles (Piano)
Leroy Vinnegar (Double Bass)
Mel Lewis (Drums)

4 comments:

  1. Muchas gracias. Lo tuve y lo perdí. Creí que no lo volvería a tener. Es un álbum magnífico

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  2. I'm not a great lover myself of all the false starts, myriad snippets and takes that Verve put on these Master Editions, but if I do decide to burn 'em to CD my self, I can always leave out the real filler material. Many thanks for this Mulligan/Webster session, as it is one I didn't have.

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