This double CD set recorded on the Pacific jazz label is the music that launched the careers of Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker and Chico Hamilton. Something quite different happened between June 1952 to 1953. Thats how long this quartet stayed together and to top it off there was not a piano in the group! These guys created a sound that is legendary, playing some of the best post-war jazz to date. Happy Birthday Gerry Mulligan! This is essential jazz. Discover and enjoy!
I ran across a couple of really good videos of Chet Baker & Paul Desmond and Chet again in solo. Some really good video and sound here. Chet really had great tonality to his trumpet which can be heard here.
The first recording of this style of jazz was The Birth of the Cool a 1950 Blue Note album by Miles Davis. Despite the top billing this album was a collaborative effort with many players and arrangers of the period, Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan, Gil Evans, Lee Konitz, John Lewis, and Gunther Schuller. At the time it was felt that Miles was the best player to represent this new style. This style came about as West Coast (California) players infiltrated the Bop players and the New York jazz scene. Gil Evans and Gerry Mulligan both working with the Claude Thornhill Orchestra developed a softer sound and more intricate arrangements. This new style arriving shortly after Bebop had begun to establish itself, was immediately unpopular. This COOL style slowly gained popularity and was later known as West Coast Jazz. Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue album is the best selling jazz album of all time and is the masterpiece of COOL JAZZ.