Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Wondering About My Favorite Bari Player? I'll Take a Mulligan

On this day in 1927, Gerard Joseph Mulligan (known to the world as Gerry) was born. Throughout his 68 years of life, he would be known for several things: His major contributions to Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool recordings; his baritone sax style that was also rooted in the "cool jazz" aesthetic; his Concert Jazz Orchestra; his piano-less quartets with Chet Baker; and his many well-loved compositions such as "Line for Lyons."

As I noted on Facebook this morning, anyone who loves the bari certainly owes Gerry a debt of gratitude, as does anyone who loves cool jazz. I was fortunate to be able to meet him at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago in 1993 and also see him perform with the One O'Clock Lab Band as part of the Gomez Artist Series at the Meyerson a year or two before his passing.

Happy birthday, Gerry; you won't soon be forgotten.

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