Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gerry Mulligan & Art Farmer

Okay, so I like the low horns. Guttural grunts and honks. A bass clarinet or baritone saxophone is visceral and earthy. It gets me where I digest. I like Coltrane's Africa/Brass Sessions mostly because the brass is all bass and slithering.

I also like Art Farmer. So I can say I am very pleased with What There is to Say, by the Gerry Mulligan Quartet. This is really a duet, with Farmer's trumpet and Mulligan's baritone engaged in a platonic dialogue above Bill Crow on bass and Dave Bailey on drums. The conversation between Mulligan and Farmer is exquisite. When they are not directly addressing one another, one is singing while the other writes footnotes into the margins of the text.

I have uploaded a couple of pieces from What There is to Say. One of Mulligan's finest compositions, is 'Festive Minor.' It's a beautiful ballad, and here you can see their dialogue most clearly. It opens with the two horns talking to one another, followed by a Farmer solo with Mulligan moaning beneath, and then the baritone says what it has to say. Then it's back to the duet.

I also uploaded 'My Funny Valentine,' to give some reference to Miles. It's much the same story.

You can listen to the two at my site.
If you like what you hear, you can get the whole album at iTunes.


  1. The two new files don't play with the dropio player, is there a problem with them?

  2. I am stumped. They worked just fine last night. You might try downloading them and using another player. That worked for me just now. If you do get this to work, let me know how you liked them.

  3. I finally got around to downloading the files, they appear to be DRM'ed, asking for itunes account authorization for blanchard8@...