Today is the 84th anniversary of Gerry Mulligan’s birth. He died in 1996 at the age of 68. There are many contexts in which to remember Mulligan—as a precocious teenaged arranger for Tommy Tucker, Elliott Lawrence and Gene Krupa; one of the key figures in the Birth of the Cool recordings; the leader of groups from quartets to big bands; a writer who made the Stan Kenton band swing; and, of course, a splendid baritone saxophonist. Here he is in Rome in 1956 with his sextet: Bob Brookmeyer, Zoot Sims, Jon Eardley, Bill Crow and Dave Bailey, playing to a backdrop of appreciative orchestra members.
If that merely whetted your appetite for Mulligan’s music, Lester Perkins of Jazz On The Tube has assembled 13 Mulligan videos. You may view them here.