There was a dense crowd for the concerts at the Olympia in Paris on Saturday, October 6, where two highly-esteemed. groups were to appear, opposites perhaps in spirit, but sharing nevertheless a common denominator of talent. Opening the show, the champion of funky jazz, Horace Silver, to be followed after the intermission by the Gerry Mulligan quartet. Two shows were planned, one at 6pm, the other at midnight. We can only hope that in the near future we may have the opportunity to hear the superb demonstration of swing provided by Horace Silver (along with Blue Mitchell and Junior Cook). As for Gerry Mulligan, we need wait no longer, this compact disc brings the concert "into your own living room."
Gerry Mulligan had created great astonishment on his debut in Paris, presenting at the Salon du Jazz in 1954 his "pianoless quartet" — practically an attempt at the impossible, double bass alone providing the harmonic support for the single-line soloists.
There had been a precedent in the fairly recent past, with the quartet co-led by Sidney Bechet and Muggsy Spanier (with guitar and bass), but it was nevertheless Mulligan, along with Chet Baker, in 1952 who provoked astonishment with this move whose impact in the jazz world was considerable. It has never been very clear whether Mulligan deliberately decided to do without a piano, or whether circumstances pushed him to it. One statement by Mulligan suggests the latter. He told a journalist that the stage of a club where he was playing in Los Angeles was so cramped that there was no room for the concert piano he wanted. Whatever the case, the formula was surprising and attractive, all the more so in that it was the velvet trumpet of Baker which counterpointed p Mulligan's deep-toned saxophone. Subsequently the valve trombone of Bob Brookmeyer and then the trumpet of Art Farmer were his partners...
André Clergeat, Co-author of the Dictionnaire du Jazz (booklet)
Olympia, Oct. 6th, 1962
1 Spring is Sprung (Mulligan) 8:55
2 Five Brothers (Mulligan) 6:04
3 Subterranean Blues (Mulligan) 11:21
4 Darn that Dream (DeLAnge, VanHeusen) 7:42
5 Blues Port (Farmer) 10:06
6 Utter Chaos (Mulligan) 1:12
Gerry Mulligan - bs & p [# 1 & 4]
Bob Brookmeyer - tb & p [# 3]
Bill Crow - b
Gus Johnson - dr
Recorded at the Olympia, Paris ; October 6, 1962