JazzTimes - 4/97, pp.76-77
"...a noteworthy tete-a-tete....The album emphasizes the busy, tricky lines that both players ate up with relish..."
Personnel: Gerry Mulligan (baritone saxophone); Paul Desmond (alto saxophone); Joe Benjamin (acoustic bass); Dave Bailey (drums).
Recorded at Capitol Records Studio, Los Angeles, California, on August 2, 1957 and Fine Sound Studio, New York, on August 27, 1957. Originally released on Verve MGV (8246). Includes liner notes by Harvey Pekar and Nat Hentoff.
Personnel: Gerry Mulligan (baritone saxophone); Paul Desmond (alto saxophone); Dave Bailey (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Phil Schaap.
Liner Note Authors: Harvey Pekar; Nat Hentoff.
Recording information: Capitol Records Studio, Los Angeles, CA (08/02/1957-08/27/1957); Capitol Records, Studio, L.A..CA (08/02/1957-08/27/1957); Fine Sound Studio, New York, NY (08/02/1957-08/27/1957).
Editor: Peter Pullman.
Photographers: Paul J. Hoeffler; Chuck Stewart.
This is the first recorded collaboration of baritone saxophone great Gerry Mulligan and the witty alto saxophonist Paul Desmond. Despite hardly any preparation for these recording sessions, the two men complement one another's playing beautifully, as both of them were highly melodic improvisers. Desmond brought three originals to the sessions: the driving "Blues in Time," the soft ballad "Wintersong" (which is based on the chord changes to "These Foolish Things"), and "Battle Hymn of the Republican" (which is actually a complex reworking of "Tea for Two"). Mulligan's contributions include his earlier hit "Line for Lyons," "Stand Still" (based on "My Heart Stood Still"), and the Latin-tinged "Fall Out" (taken from "Let's Fall in Love"). Mulligan was clearly annoyed when told that three unissued tracks ("Tea for Two," "Lover," and an alternate take of "Wintersong") had been added to the CD reissue, but was clearly amused at the accidental and unlisted first take of "Lover," which falls apart after a minute-and-a-half and is followed by some discussion. Bassist Joe Benjamin and drummer Dave Bailey provide excellent rhythmic support throughout this highly recommended CD. ~ Ken Dryden