Gerry Mulligan
(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

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White baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan (1927) was the evangelist of cool jazz on the West Coast, the land of Stan Kenton and Dave Brubeck. Having spent his formative years writing arrangements for Gene Krupa (1946), such as Disc Jockey Jump (may 1946), Claude Thornhill (1947), such as Elevation (october 1948), and Miles Davis (1948), such as Venus De Milo (april 1949) and Jeru (january 1949), Mulligan scored the compositions of Mulligan Plays Mulligan (august 1951) for a two-baritone nonet (notably Bweebida Bobbida). He then moved to Los Angeles and formed a piano-less quartet with trumpeter Chet Baker and drummer Chico Hamilton. Baker's romantic phrasing was an odd counterpart to Mulligan's abstract ruminations, but the synthesis pushed the boundaries of jazz music. The 78 rpm single (record in august 1952) with Bernice Petkere's Lullaby of the Leaves and Bernie Miller's Bernie's Tune (their first release), the 10" album Gerry Mulligan Quartet (Pacific Jazz, september 1952), with Nights at the Turntable and Walkin' Shoes, and Mulligan Quartet (Fantasy, october 1952), with Line for Lyons and Bark for Barksdale, crafted the antithesis between Mulligan (the brain) and Baker (the heart) that would remain the trademark of West Coast's cool jazz. His brand of cool jazz was lighter, catchier, and, ultimately, warmer. Mulligan later returned to the piano-less quartet format for Utter Chaos (august 1952), Motel (february 1953), Turnstile (january 1953), and the album What Is There To Say (january 1959), with Art Farmer on trumpet. Other notable compositions were Westwood Walk and A Ballad, off Tentette (january 1953) including Bud Shank, Chet Baker and Chico Hamilton, Demanton (september 1955), for a sextet with Bob Brookmeyer and Zoot Sims, and Song for an Unfinished Woman (october 1972).

In 1960 he formed a Concert Jazz Band, featuring trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, Bill Holman, tenor saxophonist Al Cohn, George Russell, vibraphonist Gary McFarland, Zoot Sims, trumpeter Clark Terry, drummer Mel Lewis, etc. He co-composed with Bill Holman a Music for Baritone Saxophone and Orchestra (1964, premiered in january 1966). He resumed the idea of the Concert Jazz Band for his album The Age Of Steam (july 1971), that contained his Grand Tour , K4 Pacific and Golden Notebooks.

Mulligan died in 1996.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Luca Magnano)

Il sassofonista baritono Gerry Mulligan (1927), bianco, fu il divulgatore del cool jazz della West Coast, terra d'origine di Stan Kenton e Dave Brubeck. Dopo aver trascorso gli anni della sua formazione scrivendo arragiamenti – per Gene Krupa Disc Jockey Jump (maggio 1946), per Claude Thornhill (1947) Elevation (ottobre 1948), e per Miles Davis (1948) Venus De Milo (aprile 1949) e Jeru (gennaio 1949) – Mulligan compose i brani del disco Mulligan Plays Mulligan (agosto 1951) per un nonetto con due sax baritoni (notevole in particolare Bweebida Bobbida). In seguito si trasferì a Los Angeles e fondò un quartetto senza piano con Chet Baker alla tromba e Chico Hamilton alla batteria. Il fraseggio romantico di Baker si abbinava in modo singolare alle astratte elucubrazioni di Mulligan, ma l'incontro tra i due stili due ampliò i confini del jazz. Il 78 giri con Lullaby of the Leaves di Bernice Petkere e Bernie's Tune di Bernie Miller (il primo disco di Mulligan e Baker, registrato nell'agosto del 1952), il decimo album Gerry Mulligan Quartet (Pacific Jazz, settembre 1952), con Nights at the Turntable e Walkin' Shoes, e Mulligan Quartet (Fantasy, ottobre 1952), con Line for Lyons e Bark for Barksdale, costruirono l'antitesi tra Mulligan (il cuore) e Baker (il cervello), che sarebbe rimasta il marchio stilistico del cool jazz della West Coast. Il cool jazz di Mulligan era più leggero, più orecchiabile, in sostanza più vivace. Mulligan tornò poi al formato del quartetto senza piano con Utter Chaos (agosto 1952), Motel (febbraio 1953), Turnstile (gennaio 1953), e il disco What Is There To Say (gennaio 1959), con Art Farmer alla tromba. Altre composizioni notevoli sono Westwood Walk e A Ballad, da Tentette (gennaio 1953) che vede la partecipazione di Bud Shank, Chet Baker e Chico Hamilton, Demanton (settembre 1955), suonata da un sestetto con Bob Brookmeyer e Zoot Sims, e Song for an Unfinished Woman (ottobre 1972).

Nel 1960 Mulligan fondò la Concert Jazz Band, con Bob Brookmeyer al trombone, Bill Holman, Al Cohn al sax tenore, George Russell, Gary McFarland al vibrafono, Zoot Sims, Clark Terry alla tromba, Mel Lewis alla batteria, e altri. Compose con Bill Holman Music for Baritone Saxophone and Orchestra (1964, per la prima volta in concerto nel gennaio 1966). Recuperò l'idea della Concert Jazz Band per il suo disco The Age Of Steam (luglio 1971), che include le sue Grand Tour , K4 Pacific e Golden Notebooks.

Mulligan è morto nel 1996.

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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