JJ 11/92: Gerry Mulligan – Re-Birth Of The Cool

Thirty years ago David Badham was pleased that this reprise of Miles Davis's landmark session was 38 percent longer than the original. First published Jazz Journal November 1992

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Almost exactly 43 years after the original Move date for Capitol, these come up absolutely fresh and vital, and quite as good as anything produced since in this vein.

Personally, I have always regarded the original sessions as Gerry Mulligan’s not Miles Davis’s since he arranged seven of the 12 numbers and was by far the most impressive solo voice! If anything he is even better now, so I wel­come this issue wholeheartedly.

Total playing time has been increased by 38 per cent, with most tracks up by at least a third and a couple by over 60 percent – and all with top class work, not padding.

Three of the original art­ists are still on this one – Mulligan playing as well as he ever has (and that’s saying something), John Lewis as quirkily apt as ever, and Bill Barber tuba-ing away in the bilges to good effect. (And you can hear him and the French horn of John Clark much better in DDD reproduction.)

Phil Woods is as perfect a sub for Konitz as you could find, while for the other major solo voice Wallace Roney provides the Miles style as required and leads the ensembles well.

If you have to sample first, Venus De Milo and Jeru are quite superb, but it’s all beautiful – beautifully written, arranged, con­ceived and played. An absolute must whether you have the orig­inal or not!

Discography
Israel; Deception; Move; Rouge; Rocker; Godchild; Moon Dreams; Venus De Milo; Budo; Boplicity; Darn That Dream*; Jeru (50.05)
Wallace Roney (t); Dave Bargeron (tb); John Clark (frh); Bill Barber (bb); Phil Woods (as); Gerry Mulligan (bar); John Lewis (p); Dean Johnson (b); Ron Vincent (d); Mel Torme (v*). NYC, January 29-31, 1992.
(GRP GRD-9679)