Mulligan Meets Monk

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Scott Yanow
In the late 1950s/early '60s, baritonist Gerry Mulligan participated in several recorded "meetings" with jazz musicians whom he admired. For this set reissued on CD in the OJC series, Mulligan teams up with pianist Thelonious Monk who shares co-leadership, bassist Wilbur Ware, and drummer Shadow Wilson on a surprisingly successful date. Monk and Mulligan blend together quite well on what was essentially Thelonious' repertoire of the era including "'Round Midnight," "Rhythm-A-Ning," "Sweet and Lovely," and "I Mean You."
All Music Guide
Mulligan Meets Monk documents the 1957 meeting of two sharp musical minds. Though the pairing may seem ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Scott Yanow
In the late 1950s/early '60s, baritonist Gerry Mulligan participated in several recorded "meetings" with jazz musicians whom he admired. For this set reissued on CD in the OJC series, Mulligan teams up with pianist Thelonious Monk who shares co-leadership, bassist Wilbur Ware, and drummer Shadow Wilson on a surprisingly successful date. Monk and Mulligan blend together quite well on what was essentially Thelonious' repertoire of the era including "'Round Midnight," "Rhythm-A-Ning," "Sweet and Lovely," and "I Mean You."
All Music Guide
Mulligan Meets Monk documents the 1957 meeting of two sharp musical minds. Though the pairing may seem unlikely, baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan -- whose cool, West Coast style blends dexterity with laid-back grace -- and Thelonious Monk -- whose radical, angular piano playing and thoroughly modern compositions are blueprints for the possibilities of bop -- sound remarkable together. In fact, it is the contrast between the players' styles that lends this set its balance and appeal. The program, which includes four compositions by Monk and one by Mulligan, is unassailable. Mulligan acquits himself admirably on the Monk classics "'Round Midnight," "Rhythm-a-ning," and "Straight, No Chaser," unfurling his smooth tone over their zigzagging melodies and ambitious scalar architecture. Mulligan's "Decidedly," a bright bop workout, fits easily alongside Monk's tunes, especially with the help of Monk's off-kilter, accented comping. Bassist Wilbur Ware and drummer Shadow Wilson lend solid support to the spirited playing of the two leaders, making this top-notch session -- with its great tunes, chemistry, and soloing -- a true classic. [Some reissues include a handful of alternate takes.] ~ Anthony Tognazzini
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/1/1991
  • Label: Ojc
  • UPC: 025218630122
  • Catalog Number: 301

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 'Round Midnight (8:29)
  2. 2 Rhythm-A-Ning (5:19)
  3. 3 Sweet and Lovely (7:17)
  4. 4 Decidedly (5:54)
  5. 5 Decidedly (6:37)
  6. 6 Straight, No Chaser (7:00)
  7. 7 Straight, No Chaser (5:29)
  8. 8 I Mean You (6:53)
  9. 9 I Mean You (6:31)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Thelonious Monk Primary Artist, Piano, Track Performer
Gerry Mulligan Baritone Saxophone, Track Performer
Wilbur Ware Bass
Shadow Wilson Drums
Technical Credits
Gus Arnheim Composer
Jack Higgins Engineer
Orrin Keepnews Producer, Liner Notes
Thelonious Monk Composer
Akira Taguchi Producer
Alan Yoshida Mastering
Joe Tarantino Mastering
Paul Bacon Cover Design
Jules LeMare (Chas. N. Daniels) Composer
Harry Tobias Composer
Robert Parent Cover Photo
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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted April 23, 2011

    Valuable Piece Of Jazz History

    This is another album I avoided in my youth but now own and cherish. While it is a bit uneven - you can tell that they got together to just blow as opposed to arrange and rehearse - I truly appreciate the sounds. I find myself grabbing this one often to take in the car. The minor technical grievances by both Mulligan and Monk do not really detract that much. Both of these jazz giants had better days - but not together. Monk's rhythm section was great here. I suppose it was the assumed clash between styles that I feared most when I was learning the sax and acquiring a jazz library. Somehow it comes down to the fact that Bop meeting Cool still = Jazz. DownBeat magazine had it about right at 4.5 stars when it first came out. Most fans of combo jazz will appreciate this recording. The alternate takes in the CD reissue prove quite interesting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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