Gerry Mulligan: Blueport
Gerry Mulligan and the Concert Jazz Band
At the Village Vanguard (Verve V8396)
Composed by Art Farmer. Arranged by Al Cohn.
Recorded: New York, December 11, 1960
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
photo by Herb Snitzer
This track boasts a rare solo by Willie Dennis, a rugged individualist during a period when J.J. Johnson dominated jazz trombone. But "Blueport" is most memorable for a droll, up-tempo exchange in which maestro Mulligan and trumpeter Terry trade quotes from songs bearing U.S. place names. Displaying wits as quick as their instrumental techniques, Gerry and Terry visit "Chicago," then get the "St. Louis Blues"; venture "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" but go back home again to "Indiana"; and kick their heels from "42nd Street" to "Broadway." Need evidence that jazzmen are both smart and funny? Mark this Exhibit A.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz