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Mulligan Meets Monk
     

Mulligan Meets Monk

4.0 1
by Thelonious Monk
 

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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 --

Overview

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

Product Details

Release Date:
02/17/1988
Label:
Imports
UPC:
0025218630122
catalogNumber:
3019999

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Mulligan Meets Monk 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
DonnieTheB More than 1 year ago
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.