Gerry Mulligan meets Ben Webster {Verve}[MFSL]

Review by Cub Koda (

The swing and bop start right here on this legendary 1959 session between baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan and tenor man Ben Webster. The opening track, Billy Strayhorn’s “Chelsea Bridge,” is lush and emotional and truly sets the tone for this album. With Jimmy Rowles on piano (his intro on “Sunday” sounds like a ragtimer like Willie “The Lion” Smith just pushed him off the stool before the band came in), Mel Lewis on drums, and always superb Leroy Vinnegar on bass present and accounted for, the rhythm section is superbly swinging with just the right amount of bop lines and chords in the mix to spice things up. The ghost of Duke Ellington hovers over every note on this record (Billy Strayhorn was one of his main arrangers), and that is a very good thing indeed. There’s a beautiful understated quality to the music on this session that makes it the perfect “relaxing around the house on a rainy day” disc to pop in the player. File this one under cool, very smooth, and supple.

01 – Chelsea Bridge.flac
02 – The Cat Walk.flac
03 – Sunday.flac
04 – Who’s Got Rhythm_.flac
05 – Tell me When.flac
06 – Go Home.flac

Gerry Mulligan – baritone saxophone
Ben Webster – tenor saxophone
Jimmy Rowles – piano
Mel Lewis – drums
Leroy Vinnegar – bass

Recorded Nov. 3 / Dec. 2, 1959 at Radio Recorders, LA.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork