“The Concert Jazz Band” – an enigmatic name for those who have not yet experienced the unusual sound of the American saxophonist and arranger Gerry Mulligan. But all becomes quite clear after listening to the very first bars of this debut album recorded by the newly founded combo in 1960. The ensemble is made up of all the usual instruments – but its sound of “concertizing” jazz is far from usual! Instead of a bombastic tone and soloists intent on prominence, carefully defined groups of wind instruments present themselves singly, then retire to allow others to come forward, with each group finally returning to “prowl around one another warily” like tigers in the arena. Mulligan stages a thrilling musical spectacle in which fierce rivalry, songlike harmony and refined counterpoint play the main roles.
With its brilliant transparency, sonority and optimal identification of the instruments’ location, this limited edition recording should not be missed by any “cool jazz” fan.