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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Two Of A Mind - Desmond & Mulligan


Blight Of The Fumble Bee

Two Of A Mind
Paul Desmond & Gerry Mulligan
Produced by Bob Prince and George Avakian
Recorded in RCA Victor's Studio A, New York City
Recording Engineers: Ray Hall, Bob Simpson, Mickey Crofford
RCA Victor LPM-2624

From the back cover: Two of the finest talents to emerge in the post-war jazz generation are brought together here for a happy, informal, yet earnest session of music-making. Individually, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan can each look back at a decade of winning jazz polls – Paul as the alto saxophonist of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, and Gerry as a baritone saxophonist who has led his own groups for many years, ranging from a quartet to a full-sized band.

In this era when television ratings, trade publication charts, and popularity polls have become impossible to ignore if one earns a livelihood in the light arts, it is rare to find such camaraderie between two star performers as this collaborative album exudes. Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan are not only old friends who came up at about the same time on the big-band jazz scene, but their strong feelings about the role of ensemble playing in jazz makes them ideal partners for a get-together such as this. There is never the slightest hint a a "cutting" session; always they work together toward the same ensemble conception, even though each is also one of the greatest soloists in jazz today.

Also from the back cover: The rhythm section in these performances varied from session to session because the recordings had to be made in sessions several weeks apart during the summer of 1962; as Paul and Gerry traveled in and out of town for their respective engagements, so did the other musicians, so that is was never possible to get the same men together at the same time. In fact, the dates always seemed to take place as one principal was unpacking a suitcase and the other one was about to catch a plane. Wendell Marshall and Connie Kay play bass and drums respectively in All The Things You Are; they are replaced by Joe Benjamin and Mel Lewis for Stardust, Two Of A Mind and Out Of Nowhere; John Beal and Connie Kay are heard in Blight Of The Fumble Bee and The Way You Look Tonight.

From Billboard - November 10, 1962: Modern jazz listeners should welcome this one with open arms. It spotlights two of the most eloquent witty and swinging jazz musicians in jazz today playing together. Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan, on alto and tenor sax respectively, have a soft, breezy and yet thoughtful album here six tracks long. They are accompanied only by drums and bass both are given to easy, relaxed improvisations on standards and originals. "Stardust" and "All The Things You Are" are representative of the first, with "Blight Of The Fumble Bee" indicative of the latter.

All The Things You Are
Two Of A Ming
Blight Of The Fumble Bee
The Way You Look Tonight
Out Of Nowhere

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