Tony

Gerry Mulligan: The Emarcy Sextet Recordings

29 posts in this topic

Hello All

My first post to this great site.  I'm new to Mosaic (and quite new to Jazz).  Mosaic has been a revelation to me on the few I've aquired (Tal Farlow, Dizzy, Gerald Wilson Count Basie Jimmy Smith Art Pepper) Brilliant.  I've also been Lucky enough to get Gerry Mulligan Verve and Pacific.  All these 2nd hand, mainly from UK (local).  I want to take the plunge and buy some new from the source.  I really enyoy the Mulligan, but wonder if its worth going for the Emarcy set, as I already have 2 others, for this kind of outlay, (I would not want to have too much overlap).  As the shipping cost is fairly high to the UK, I want to order all I will get in 1 go.  I'm also contemplating Joe Pass and beehive sets.  They are really a bit above my price range, but the temptation is too strong and its satisfying my mid life crisis.

Tony

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Tony - Welcome to the board, I share your enthusiasm for all things Mosaic. As you mention, the shipping of these sets to the UK isn't the easiest, although I find Mosaic's shipping straight-forward and reliable. Prepare for import tax and the dreaded Royal Mail 'admin' charge on delivery  though. 

For in-print sets, consider ordering from jazzmessengers in Spain. I think their shipping within the EU is free as well (at least whilst we are still a member of that Institution..:rolleyes:).

The Mulligan Emarcy on vinyl is on my list. I have the Japanese LPs but these were from a digital source I think. I suspect Mosaics mastering on this set will be superior to the Japanese sources. In fact they did such a fantastic job in the Brown/Roach and RRK sets that It should be a no-brainer.

Edited by sidewinder

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I highly recommend the Bee Hive set.

the individual albums are tricky to find on LP.

 

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2 hours ago, jazzkrow said:

I highly recommend the Bee Hive set.

the individual albums are tricky to find on LP.

 

I agree. Most of the sessions in this collection are great. 

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Thanks for the great advice.Jazzmessenger means I dont have to do just 1 big order, so I opted for the Emarcy.  I did put the bee hive in the basket, but bottled it when I saw the total.  I'm hoping they may do an offer to get return custom.  Then I'll get the bee hive.  If not I'll have to invent another rationale

Tony

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1 hour ago, Tony said:

Thanks for the great advice.Jazzmessenger means I dont have to do just 1 big order, so I opted for the Emarcy.  I did put the bee hive in the basket, but bottled it when I saw the total.  I'm hoping they may do an offer to get return custom.  Then I'll get the bee hive.  If not I'll have to invent another rationale

Tony

Oh we're all VERY good at inventing those particular rationales!  I've been doing it for, uh, a LOT of years!  Welcome to the Board Tony!

 

gregmo

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20 hours ago, gmonahan said:

Oh we're all VERY good at inventing those particular rationales!  I've been doing it for, uh, a LOT of years!  Welcome to the Board Tony!

 

gregmo

Perhaps it would be worth starting a thread with them.  So we are prepared when the wife sees the credit card statement :)

Tony

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Emarcy delivered today.  So thanks for the advice. 

Unfortunately working till the early hours tonight.  But I my weekend listening is sorted.

Tony

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3 hours ago, Tony said:

Emarcy delivered today.  So thanks for the advice. 

Unfortunately working till the early hours tonight.  But I my weekend listening is sorted.

Tony

Tony - Let us know what you think of this one after you have given it a spin. Its on my list along with the Beehive set.

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Okay I’ve had a chance to listen to the first 3 today and thought I’ll strike while the iron’s hot.  But I’ve never reviewed before and will happily bow to the greater experience of anyone who wants to correct my impressions.

 

There are some repetitions of tracks from the other Mulligan mosaics.  But they are different enough versions that it’s worth having all.  The music ranges from good to fantastic.  I would say my favourite is still the pacific (Chet?), but I haven’t really given this a proper chance yet.  I’m sure it will get better with repeated listening’s and I’m very willing to give it a go.  It has been a great pleasure to hear.

 

The recordings are very clear and detailed as are all mosaics I’ve heard. But when listening to the 3rd record (and I’m not certain if it’s just this record, or when I started to notice) to me the lower frequencies seem to be slightly too quiet, or I guess you could it’s just a little bit bright.  If I had tone controls on my amp, I'd be tempted to turn up the bass.

 

Although images on the web before buying make the box look a little boring.  In reality its very nice with the writing embossed, so more fancy than a photo glued to the lid.  However I did notice a couple of sides seem to be slightly off centre.    If I look at the edge of other mosaic records I have while playing.  Its difficult to see they are turning.  But these seem to have a rougher edge.  Record surface appear almost dirty, not that lovely even sheen.  It seems odd that the records aren’t completely covered by the inner sleeve. A mm or 2 protrude on one side.  These criticisms, for me are quite superficial and judging the records on a very high standard (that I think is justified by the cost).  Ultimately, so far I am very pleased and expect they will give a lot of pleasure.  Particularly when I concentrate more on enjoying the music than appraising them.

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I need a favour from any of you lucky owners of the Mulligan-Emarcy Mosaic set.

There are two takes of a "Blues" recorded on September 22, 1955 (12061-2 and -3). One is track 3 on LP 3, side B. The other is track 4 on LP4, side B.

One begins with one piano chorus, then Zoot; the other with three piano choruses, then Zoot.

My question: which one is which?

Thanks in advance.

F

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16 hours ago, Fer Urbina said:

I need a favour from any of you lucky owners of the Mulligan-Emarcy Mosaic set.

There are two takes of a "Blues" recorded on September 22, 1955 (12061-2 and -3). One is track 3 on LP 3, side B. The other is track 4 on LP4, side B.

One begins with one piano chorus, then Zoot; the other with three piano choruses, then Zoot.

My question: which one is which?

Thanks in advance.

F

I have the set and......... confession time......... I had never listened to it until today.   Please don't ask me how that happened as I have no idea.  I will say that when I opened it, got through the bubble wrap and finally listened to it - I was so thankful that I decided to respond to your post.  This is a really nice set,

As to your question - track 3 on LP 3, side B has the shorter, one piano chorus - then Zoot

Thank you for helping me open this treasure chest that I knew I had, but had not yet opened

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On 26/05/2016 at 9:06 PM, Tony said:

 

The music ranges from good to fantastic.  I would say my favourite is still the pacific (Chet?)

Have you tried the Concert Jazz Band?

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5 hours ago, Ed Swinnich said:

I have the set and......... confession time......... I had never listened to it until today.   Please don't ask me how that happened as I have no idea.  I will say that when I opened it, got through the bubble wrap and finally listened to it - I was so thankful that I decided to respond to your post.  This is a really nice set,

As to your question - track 3 on LP 3, side B has the shorter, one piano chorus - then Zoot

Thank you for helping me open this treasure chest that I knew I had, but had not yet opened

Hi Ed

Thanks for that, much appreciated, and glad I helped you open the set. :D

F

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Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, BillF said:

Have you tried the Concert Jazz Band?

The Concert Band Mosaic is (and still is) my first ever Mulligan purchase, only just about 3 years ago — and it’s really wonderful.

For those interested, it seems to go for quite reasonable prices these days. Got mine for ~$65 incl. shipping (from eBay), but I’ve seen several others sell for about that same price, rarely more than $70.

Bought it less for Mulligan’s playing specifically, as I did for the fantastic writing and arranging for the larger ensemble, which just sparkles.

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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14 minutes ago, Rooster_Ties said:

Bought it less for Mulligan’s playing specifically, as I did for the fantastic writing and arranging for the larger ensemble, which just sparkles.

Same for the OG Quartet w/Baker. Went through their entire output a month or so ago, and was consistently amazed, not for the solos, but for the writing for the group. Just four instruments, only two horns, and of course no piano. So, not a lot to work with to get a variety of lines and textures...but there is, every person is playing into the group sounds, not out or above it. Chico Hamilton in particular is the spider spinning the web, except when he throws a bump that goes boom and then gets right back to spinning.

Later quartets and other small groups of Mulligan's....some good bands there, but this first quartet, which lasted just a year, essentially, made a bunch of records for three labels (Fantasy, Pacific Jazz, & GNP) is really suey generous, or whatever that phrase is. And it's the writing that does it. It all starts with the writing.

If there's anybody who has not checked out this music, who thinks of it as only "cool jazz" or "West Coast Jazz" that is an opiated spackle of jazzmusic, I offer you the friendliest recommendation to do so!

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41 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Same for the OG Quartet w/Baker. Went through their entire output a month or so ago, and was consistently amazed, not for the solos, but for the writing for the group. Just four instruments, only two horns, and of course no piano. So, not a lot to work with to get a variety of lines and textures...but there is, every person is playing into the group sounds, not out or above it. Chico Hamilton in particular is the spider spinning the web, except when he throws a bump that goes boom and then gets right back to spinning.

Later quartets and other small groups of Mulligan's....some good bands there, but this first quartet, which lasted just a year, essentially, made a bunch of records for three labels (Fantasy, Pacific Jazz, & GNP) is really suey generous, or whatever that phrase is. And it's the writing that does it. It all starts with the writing.

If there's anybody who has not checked out this music, who thinks of it as only "cool jazz" or "West Coast Jazz" that is an opiated spackle of jazzmusic, I offer you the friendliest recommendation to do so!

Second this. I've done the samelistening to the whole output of the first pianoless quartet—and it's outstanding music, and I agree that anyone avoiding it because of "Chet Baker" "Cool Jazz" or "West Coast" is missing out (if memory serves, Max Harrison was very fond of that first quartet too). As for the instrumental limitations, there are a few tracks where either the drummer or the bass player sing a wordless line.

From first to last recordings in that first run, they lasted nine months, but what they created is monumental, at ages 25 (Mulligan) and 22 (Baker). Some time ago I put this together: https://jazzofftherecord.blogspot.com/2010/11/spotify-playlist-ii-gerry-mulligan-chet.html

Having said that, I was listening to the live recordings with Jon Eardley the other day, and they're well worth a listen. Mulligan sounds somewhat freer (he was slightly older, out of jail, and it's a concert anyway).

F

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No doubt, and the quartet with Brookmeyer is also not without charm. But yes, that original quartet was quite unique.

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2 hours ago, JSngry said:

Same for the OG Quartet w/Baker. Went through their entire output a month or so ago, and was consistently amazed, not for the solos, but for the writing for the group.

Ok, I’m about sold then on that basis alone. I’ll confess I’ve avoided all the Mulligan/Baker quartets because I’ve never warmed to Chet Baker over the years (though I’ll also confess I stopped trying 20 years ago).

Which specific albums do I want then? Have they been collected up nicely into a comprehensive CD set, by any chance? — not likely, if multiple labels are involved. Is the Mulligan/Baker Mosaic Select what I need? - by any chance? (I’m clueless about the Mulligan catalog.)

Next to zero interest in any PD releases of this material, unless someone really thinks that’s the way to go (hard to imagine I’d be swayed, but you can try).

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Ok...there was a nice 4 CD set of the PJ material that might be overkill for you, because it's all PJ Mulligan/Baker. But it's pretty much all good except for the "reunion" stuff, which is kinda anti-climactic.

https://www.discogs.com/Gerry-Mulligan-The-Complete-Pacific-Jazz-Recordings-Of-The-Gerry-Mulligan-Quartet-With-Chet-Baker/release/2550180

R-2550180-1290009956.jpeg.jpg

R-2550180-1290009964.jpeg.jpg

don't sweat the collaborations" disc, it's a bunch of prime Lee Konitz, and then a better-than-average Annie Ross date.

Shop around, there's reasonable prices to be had.

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For the Fantasy material (which in some ways is more "important", there's this OJC CD:

41G8MTW4D8L.jpg

The band is associated with Pacific Jazz, but they recorded for Fantasy first, and that's also where "My Funny Valentine" ws, the hit that put them on the map.

Also, some of the Fantasy sessions used this really intense reverb that plays well to both Chico Hamilton and Mulligna's bari on the low end of the writing.

The Chubby Jackson material that fills out the CD is...historically important, I suppose. But the Mulligan stuff is where the action is, imo.

 

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Posted (edited)

 

20 minutes ago, Rooster_Ties said:

Ok, I’m about sold then on that basis alone. I’ll confess I’ve avoided all the Mulligan/Baker quartets because I’ve never warmed to Chet Baker over the years (though I’ll also confess I stopped trying 20 years ago).

Which specific albums do I want then? Have they been collected up nicely into a comprehensive CD set, by any chance? — not likely, if multiple labels are involved. Is the Mulligan/Baker Mosaic Select what I need? - by any chance? (I’m clueless about the Mulligan catalog.)

Next to zero interest in any PD releases of this material, unless someone really thinks that’s the way to go (hard to imagine I’d be swayed, but you can try).

On CD, non-PD, these:

Pacific Jazz recordings, 2-CD set. https://www.discogs.com/Gerry-Mulligan-Quartet-The-Original-Quartet-With-Chet-Baker/release/7569229

Fantasy recordings (including the classic 1952 instrumental "My Funny Valentine"): https://www.discogs.com/Gerry-Mulligan-Quartet-Chubby-Jackson-Big-Band-Gerry-Mulligan-Quartet-Chubby-Jackson-Big-Band/release/10542306

GNP-Crescendo: https://www.discogs.com/Gerry-Mulligan-Tentet-And-Quartet-Featuring-Chet-Baker-Gene-Norman-Presents-The-Original-Gerry-Mulli/release/7251490

The Fantasy and the GNP include some non-quartet things, but with those three, you have everything, studio and live, from 1952-1953.

F

 

 

 

Edited by Fer Urbina

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Finally, the GNP record, the last one they made before the breakup, is now most readily found here:

R-7251490-1437196830-4951.jpeg.jpg

The tent stuff is non-essential for anybody's solos, but the writing is, as you might expect, full of enjoyments.

 

6 minutes ago, Fer Urbina said:

The only quibble I would have about that is that it leaves out the cuts where Konitz sat in...but those are also available separately on

https://www.discogs.com/Lee-Konitz-The-Gerry-Mulligan-Quartet-Konitz-Meets-Mulligan/release/3575456

R-3575456-1378127150-5954.jpeg.jpg

R-3575456-1378127197-9486.jpeg.jpg

One way or another, it's essential music, imo.

Also want to shout out to Larry Bunker on these dates. The way he took over from Chico and found his own shading of that very distinct style is pretty impressive, imo. Those who only know him as an LA studio player, ...he was here first!

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14 minutes ago, JSngry said:

The only quibble I would have about that is that it leaves out the cuts where Konitz sat in...but those are also available separately on

https://www.discogs.com/Lee-Konitz-The-Gerry-Mulligan-Quartet-Konitz-Meets-Mulligan/release/3575456

R-3575456-1378127150-5954.jpeg.jpg

R-3575456-1378127197-9486.jpeg.jpg

One way or another, it's essential music, imo.

Agreed. In my mind I always think of this as a different unit (I came across at a different time than the quartet), even though this happened during the short lifespan of the first quartet.

F

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