Bouncy upbeat Mulligan swings with piano
rash67 | USA | 12/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here is Gerry, by his nickname Jeru in the early sixties with some pleasant bouncy tunes. He is playing with a piano, Tommy Flanagan, which he seldom did. Flanagan plays tastefully. Jeru has two percussionists, drums and congo. (but doesn't do much with them - this isn't "Jazz Samba") As usual he plays his baritone so high in it's range that it sounds like a tenor until he reaches for that low note, as in Get out of Town. They all seem to be having fun.
The first cut Capricious is supposed to be Bossa Nova, but it's really more an moderate tempo cha cha. Here I'll Stay is an andante tempo swing. Inside Impromtu is a slower andante or fast blues. You've Come Home is a faster swing. Get out of Town is more tuneful swing. Not til Lonely Town does Jeru slow down the bouncy tempos. More tempo variety could help this, but it is a pleasant confection.
Jeru's album is happy, pleasant, bouncy. Good to hear from beyond the grave. As a solid three 1/2 to four star recommendation, under my tough grading system, it represents a typical tuneful Mulligan swing outing. a "C+" to "B". Don't look for much heartfelt profound ballads here, that would have been nice. Nor is it like his early work with Chet Baker. Compared with what else is new today, the current Jazz drought, it's entertaining.
Sony has done an good job with the sound, especially the bass, considering the era.
"A workman is worth his wages"."
Swing King | Cincinnati, OH USA | 01/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Prior to this album from 1962, Gerry Mulligan quartets throughout the 1950s seldom performed using a traditional rhythm section that included piano. Mulligan also tended not to perform very many ballads, though it would be misleading to have you believe he had never played in that format previously. In Mulligan's regular quartet Bob Brookmeyer, his trombonist, would occasionally play piano on a track or two. This proved to be the exception rather than the rule.
"Jeru" is a solid offering featuring this baritone saxophone legend accompanied by Tommy Flanagan (piano), Ben Tucker (bass), Dave Bailey (drums) and Alec Dorsey (Conga drums). Bailey was Mulligan's drummer for a very long time in his regular quartet, and Tommy Flanagan was a personal friend of Mulligan who was well respected as an accomplished pianist. Ben Tucker was a solid bassist who was constantly finding work in the studios of fellow musicians, and Alec Dorsey was there to provide an element that was gaining popularity at the time with his conga drums.
The creative compatibility of all players on this session becomes apparent as the cool relaxed sound of each element hits the listeners' ears. This is what jazz was, could be, should be, and occasionally still is. You cannot go wrong purchasing this great album with great sound clarity by such great artists. Enjoy!