Gerry Mulligan: Blueport




Gerry Mulligan and the Concert Jazz Band


At the Village Vanguard (Verve V8396)

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13-piece band featuring Clark Terry (trumpet), Willie Dennis (trombone), Jim Reider (tenor sax), Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax), Bill Crow (bass), Mel Lewis (drums)


Composed by Art Farmer. Arranged by Al Cohn


Recorded: New York, December 11, 1960


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

          Gerry Mulligan
     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

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