Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster

Although an earlier CD added five previously unissued tracks to the original LP Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster, this Verve Master Edition two-CD set adds just about everything else recorded during the two sessions that produced the original record, and also features 20-bit sound. Even though Gerry Mulligan was outspoken against issuing material omitted from his original recordings, it is a treat to hear how the songs evolved in the studio. Webster and Mulligan seem mutually inspired throughout the sessions, and strong performances by pianist Jimmy Rowles, bassist Leroy Vinnegar, and drummer Mel Lewis are of considerable help. The music is presented in the order in which it was recorded, with each CD devoted to a separate session. In both cases it is clear that the initial takes of music from the Ellington songbook ("In a Mellotone" and "Chelsea Bridge") are more focused than the follow-up versions. They only needed one try to nail "What Is This Thing Called Love?" (also left off the LP), in an understated setting that shows off their beautiful interplay. Their barely disguised reworking of "I Got Rhythm," called "Who's Got Rhythm," was likely an effortless performance, though Webster seems to briefly laugh in the middle of his solo. Webster's swinging "Fajista" opens the second date, followed by two takes of Mulligan's beautiful ballad "Tell Me When." Webster's "Blues in B-Flat" is another fine swinger inexplicably left off the LP, and Rowles kicks off the oldie "Sunday" with a brief stride piano introduction (something Webster played himself but rarely in a recording studio). Fans on a budget can probably make due with the earlier CD reissue but serious fans of Mulligan and/or Webster should invest in this very rewarding set instead.
Ken Dryden

Source :

Gerry Mulligan
Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster


Cd. 1

1 In a Mellow Tone [cd master take] (Ellington, Gabler) 7:20
2 In a Mellow Tone [alt. take] (Ellington, Gabler) 5:44
3 What Is This Thing Called Love ? [cd master take] (Porter) 7:22
4 Chelsea Bridge [LP Master Take] (Strayhorn) 7:39
5 Chelsea Bridge [alt. take] (Strayhorn) 5:03
6 Go Home [1. breakdown - 2. rehearsal & false start] (Mulligan, Webster) 10:01
7 Go Home [LP Master take with insert as issued] (Mulligan, Webster) 6:54
8 Who's Got Rhythm ? [Original LP Master take] (Mulligan) 7:26
9 For Bessie [LP Master take] (Webster) 5:38
10 Go Home [end of unedited -3] (Mulligan, Webster) 1:44
11 Go Home [unedited insert] (Mulligan, Webster) 1:30


Cd. 2

1 Fajista [false start] (Webster) 1:34
2 Fajista [alt. take] (Webster) 6:21
3 Fajista [discussion & rehersal] (Webster) 1:37
4 Fajista [cd master take] (Webster) 5:58
5 Tell Me When [alt. take] (Mulligan) 5:02
6 Tell Me When [LP Master take] (Mulligan) 5:29
7 Blues in B Flat [1. breakdown - 2. discussion - 3. false start] (Mulligan, Webster) 2:46
8 Blues in B Flat [alt. take] (Mulligan, Webster) 8:38
9 Blues in B Flat [cd master take] (Webster) 7:23
10 The Cat Walk [1. rehearsal & discussion - 2. false start & discussion - 3. breakdown] (Mulligan) 3:26
11 The Cat Walk [alt. take] (Mulligan) 5:45
12 The Cat Walk [1. warmup - 2. breakdown - 3. breakdown] (Mulligan) 2:13
13 The Cat Walk [LP Master take] (Mulligan) 6:19
14 Sunday [1. false start - 2. alt. take] (Conn, Krueger, Miller, Styne) 5:32
15 Sunday [LP Master take] (Conn, Kreuger, Krueger, Miller, Styne) 7:21

Gerry Mulligan - bs
Ben Webster - ts
Jimmy Rowles - p
Leroy Vinnegar - b
Mel Lewis - dr

Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, California ; November 3 [cd. 1] & December 2, 1959 [cd. 2]


Anonymous said...

Thank You, again

Tartsy said...

Good morning;
Found your site yeseterday and love it. I would realy enjoy using it but I could not find your password anywhere on your site. Could you please e-mail the password, or let me know how I can get it. You are doing so much work on your site I would love to be able to take advantage of some of the music. Thank-you in advance for everything you are doing. my e-mail is Hope to here from you soon.
Have a great day

Orbyt said...

Great to finally have this in lossless. Many thanks Mel.

cvllos said...

Ref:Mulligan & Webster
Well, Melanchthon
This is the complete recording session! Incroyable, mon Dieu!

Duddy Kravitz said...

Thanks for posting this (and all the others, also)!Ben Webster is one of my favorites. I notice that some of your posts require a password and others do not. Could you please tell me what the password is? If you want to send it to me via email, my address is

zardoz1984 said...

Duddy, Tartsy… just have a look up at the right under the home picture, above "search this blog": you'll have your answer.
Mel, thanks for sharing that nice piece of work between two masters of the music we love so much. The stature of Ben is growing day after day. True pity he had to go to Europe to be acknowledged at his true value!

zardoz1984 said...

PS for everybody interested by a lesson in feeling & blowing: listen the Bill Harris record too. Wow, that "Where Are You?"! Leave me on my knees, wanting for more, listening seven times in row. Inbelievable! Magic Ben was the Dude, and Duke knew what he had got with him in the band: simply the most beautiful sound of love. Sure, really love your place, Mel!

johnp said...

Many thanks!

Melanchthon said...

estravagario said...

Melanchthon. Thank you very much. You're a master!

Newlyner said...

Many thanks for this great offering.

Frasco said...

Excellent music, Melanchthon, thank you

Chris said...

Thanks Mel another Great Album

Terry said...

Thanks Mel. So good to have the alternate takes & additional tracks.

Musrafak said...

The tracks 2 - 5 of CD 1 are wrong
The "The Cat Walk" instead of "In a Mellow Tone [alt. take]" and "Who's Got Rhythm?" instead of "Chelsea Bridge", for example

leo said...

Melanchthon can this one be re-post.
Thank You.