Friday, November 27, 2009

After Hours

Gerry Mulligan. Walkin' Shoes

Here's Gerry and his band on Italian TV in 1956, playing his very own ultra-swell tune. The other guys are tenor sax giant Zoot Sims on, uh, tenor sax, borderline genius Bob Brookmeyer on valve trombone, the dependable Jon Eardley on trumpet, Crow 'n' Bailey on bass 'n' drums and of course, Gerry on the bari. This tune was originally performed by Mulligan's forward-thinking piano-less quartet at the beginning of the fifties. You know, that was the one with Chet Baker in it. By the mid-fifties, he had replace Chet, who was a really bad junkie, with Brookmeyer, who was an agreeable drunk. Gerry himself migrated between booze and smack for the longest time. In addition, he brought aboard the wonderful Zoot Sims, who couldn't play well unless he was completely shitfaced and Eardley, about whom I know nothing. Anyhow, this tune pretty much speaks for itself. It's just that I can't figure out what purpose all those other musicians are serving in the background. Any ideas?

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