Paul Desmond_Gerry Mulligan - Two Of A Mind
Bitrate: mp3 320kbps
Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan helped to define the cool school with their light, almost vibratoless tones-- Desmond's alto luminous and airy, Mulligan's baritone woolly and quietly gruff. They also shared a fondness for improvised counterpoint, and that's the defining characteristic of these 1962 sessions, from the theme statement of "All the Things You Are" with Mulligan echoing Desmond's lead. Like Mulligan's famous group with trumpeter Chet Baker, this is a pianoless quartet, and the open harmonic atmosphere casts the saxophonists' interplay in high relief. Desmond's title tune and Mulligan's "Blight of the Fumble Bee" lead to extended passages of collective improvisation, while Mulligan often supplies Desmond with restrained counterlines. On "The Way You Look Tonight," the theme gradually emerges out of Desmond's part in an almost fuguelike improvisation. The LP-length recording took a surprising three sessions to produce, and there's a revolving door for rhythm sections. Drummer Connie Kay from the Modern Jazz Quartet appears on two tracks with bassist Wendell Marshall and one with John Beal. Drummer Mel Lewis teams with bassist Joe Benjamin on the other three. Despite that, there's nothing lacking in the quality of the support: the two saxophonists sound consistently--if quietly--inspired. ~ Amazon
In a way, this album is a recollection of the best elements of two of the most popular and musically successful groups of the middle 1950s -- the period when modern jazz first blossomed into large-scale public acceptance. The Dave Brubeck Quartet and the original Gerry Mulligan Quartet were the leading exponents at that time of contrapuntal jazz. The polyphonic duets of Desmond and Brubeck in the one group and of Mulligan and Baker in the other broke new ground and did it with high quality as well as spectacular flair. In this album, the saxophonists of the respective combinations have taken a similar approach and, with a clean sureness and an inspirational spark born of close compatibility and the ease of long experience, they bring the technique of improvisation in counterpoint to a new height....
There was plenty of relaxed fun in the studio during the sessions. Both Paul and Gerry are quick wits and quicker still is Judy Holliday, who was a welcome visitor in the control room. While no one kept track of the quips that flew about during the sessions, one bit is preserved in the title of the fast blues that opens the second side of this album. While it was being played back, one of the engineers asked Paul what the title was. "I don't know," he said, "it's a tune by Gerry." Just then the tape reached the climax of the counterpoint passage in the chorus before the boys come back to the melody. "We might have to call it "Flight of the Bumble Bee," somebody said. "Or," said Judy thoughtfully, "Blight of the Fumble Bee."
It is rather pointless to recite in these notes a roll of the passages that pass in review as you listen to this extraordinary album. Suffice it to say there are moments of rare beauty which will grow on you with repeated listening. The album is also a lot of fun; time and again, in the counterppomt passages, the boys will seem about to play an idea into an obvious corner, but they will let you hear just enough of what you might expect to let you know that they know that you know -- and then they're off on a wholly fresh idea. You can also have a lot of fun with your friends Ietting them guess the tunes which are never actually played In these performances -- I've caught quite a few people with Stardust and The Way You Look Tonight. But Paul and Gerry have a game for you, too -- do you have any idea what tune Two of a Mind really is?
But the real kick in this album is to follow the invertible counterpoint and the marvelously flowing solos of these two superb improvisers. The interplay between them reaches an unusual height in The Way You Look Tonight, when Paul as an afterthought added a third saxophone line (stereo owners can hear it in the center Channel) for the last two choruses of the performance. The way Paul and Gerry work together never ceases to fascinate, even when one drops into a distinctly subordinate role, as when Gerry backs up the last five choruses of Paul's long solo in Bee. It is a safe assumption that only an arranger of Gerry's caliber could have done so much so unobtrusively and with so few notes.
The rhythm section in these performances varied from session to session because the recordings had to he made in sessions several weeks apart during the summer of 1962; as Paul and Gerry traveled in and out of town for their respective engagements, so did the other musicians, so that it was never possible to get the same men together at the same time. In fact, the dates always seemed to take place as one principal was unpacking a suitcase and the other one was about to catch a plane. Wendell Marshall and Connie Kay play bass and drums respectively in All the Things You Are; they are replaced by Joe Benjamin and Mel Lewis for Stardust, Two of a Mind and Out of Nowhere; John Beal and Connie Kay are heard in Blight of the Fumble Bee and The Way You Look Tonight. ~ George Avakian
Paul Desmond (alto sax)
Gerry Mulligan (bass sax)
John Beal and Wendell Marshall (bass)
Connie Kay and Mel Lewis (drums)
Paul Desmond_Gerry Mulligan - Two Of A Mind Tracks:
01 All The Things You Are
03 Two Of A Mind
04 Blight Of The Fumble Bee
05 The Way You Look Tonight
06 Out Of Nowhere