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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars23
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on October 11, 2001
Personally I feel that this CD, which does not contain *all* of the famous tracks recorded by Mulligan and Webster together, is nevertheless quite adequate for anyone who wants a good, representative sample of what they achieved. And they certainly played extremely well as a combination. This is an exercise in real collaboration of people who obviously enjoyed playing together and did so very harmoniously. My own feeling is that Mulligan is sometimes more exciting, in other contexts, but here played in a rather more subdued manner so as to make sure that Webster was not in any way pushed into a secondary role. Webster is ultimately perhaps on this occasion the more interesting soloist, particularly when he produces his famous "whispering" sound. As others also say, he plays with great feeling, and very lyrically. Altogether, this is a very "quiet" collection of tracks, but that does not mean there is not plenty to enjoy; the music is quite beautiful. If you look for Mulligan in a more exciting and ebullient vein, then I'd go for the Berlin concert with Brubeck, or the excellent sextet of 1955-6. Which is not to say that his music is not rewarding on this CD. The other musicians on this CD are also very good, and everything is produced in very coherent, supple fashion. - Joost Daalder
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on December 28, 2000
(Note please that I rarely give 5 stars.) Four stars for the whole record, 10 stars for Chelsea Bridge, which is one of the most moving and evocative pieces of music imaginable. Mulligan is a gutty foil for Webster's sublime expressions of love and passion. I had this on vinyl, and it was on the first CD I ever bought -- I think I bought a CD player when I saw the song had been released on CD. I am eternally grateful for this piece of music, which has sustained my belief in a world where such beauty is possible.
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on November 3, 2003
This CD goes down like a good cappucino, smooth and creamy, relaxing, yet with a little kick. Perfect in the morning or late at night. Rich, warm, satisfying. The combination of Mulligan's baritone and Webster's tenor is a match made in heaven; these 2 were made for each other. This is such a great album, it's become one of my favorites. Not a bad track on the disc. Highly, highly recommended.
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on June 4, 2001
Too often, superlatives get tossed about in carelessness. Not here. This is essential listening to any jazz fan. The five bonus tracks of the cd are not mere alternate takes; they are a set from the same session which never made it to the original album, and equal in the quality of playing and material chosen. I agree with the other reviewer in this section, 'Chelsea Bridge' is alone worth the price of the cd. In fact, I heard 'Chelsea Bridge' from this cd on the radio, which prompted me to purchase it. This performance has to be among my personal top five favorite performances in jazz. The word sublime would in itself be an overstatment. The other material on the cd is also quite up to scratch, making this an essential addition to your collection in the truest sense of the word.
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on June 10, 2000
Ben Webster was one of the instruments most influential exponents, primarly through his work with Duke Ellington. Mulligan, meanwhile, was an integral part of the 50's west coast movement and this set represents the confluence of two different generations. This is a fine example of how two seemingly disparate musicians can perform together superbly.
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on July 20, 2003
It's gross to exaggerate too much, but this disc is so very good that it can withstand such praise. And at the cheap $ price, to call it a bargan is an understatement. The 20-bit remastering and additional tracks are fantastic. Webster's creamy tenor timbre never sounded better; Mulligan's unique baritone speaks for itself. If one is even remotely interested in the art form of jazz, this is a winner. If you love jazz, this is its quintessence: don't you have it already?
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on April 15, 2006
Two great sax players, one a tenor the other a barritone went into a recording studio at the end of the Fifties and produced a great album; "Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster". Both musicians were graduates of big bands, Mulligan with Gene Krupa and Webster with Ellington where they perfected their trade, here, they jam together with a small group of distinguished players: Leroy Vinnegar, Jimmy Rowles and Mel Lewis. This updated CD version includes a number of cuts that were not on the original album,including "In A Mellow Tone". A terrific playlist of ballads and swing, the two horns compliment each other beautifully and the end product is thrilling. I suggest you sample their take of "Chelsea Bridge". Gerry and Ben will be a great addition to your music library. As the Hipsters of this era would intone; "You

will dig it in a large way man."
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on August 4, 2003
Even if you don't like jazz you just gotta like this CD. It is magic. Webster's definition of chemistry should include this CD cover. The sound is also spectacular. It really doesn't get any better than this (well maybe Webster's Jazzhus Vol 1) - if you haven't heard it, you got a big treat coming!
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GM, bari sx; BW, ten sx; Jimmy Rowles, p; Leroy Vinnegar, b; Mel Lewis, dr.

This is a very good album but not a great album, although it could have been. Apparently, Mulligan and Webster actually collaborated in a quintet for a while. In any case, here are two of the great mainstream soloists playing together, with as good a piano accompanist as they could ever have gotten in Jimmy Rowles (Billie Holiday’s favorite accompanist), and killer bass and drums in Leroy Vinnegar and Mel Lewis. So what’s the letdown? Lack of practice, preparation. Most of the songs are throwaways. Mulligan, Webster and Rowles attack them with great fervor and skill but still, they’re not great tunes.
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on January 24, 2015
A great paring of two masters. The back up players are also outstanding. Jimmy Rowles, Leroy Vinnegar, and Mel Lewis. Five new tracks have been added for an almost 77 minute experience. The sound is good. Bravo Phil Schaap for an excellent production and additional information.
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