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Two of a Mind Original recording reissued, Import


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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Import, May 21, 1996
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 21, 1996)
  • Original Release Date: 1962
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Import
  • Label: Rca Records/Sbme
  • ASIN: B000003G3J
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,943 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. All The Tings You Are
2. Stardust
3. Two Of A Mind
4. Blight Of The Fumble Bee
5. The Way You Look Tonight
6. Out Of Nowhere

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan helped to define the cool school with their light, almost vibratoless tones--Desmond's alto luminous and airy, Mulligan's baritone woolly and quietly gruff. They also shared a fondness for improvised counterpoint, and that's the defining characteristic of these 1962 sessions, from the theme statement of "All the Things You Are" with Mulligan echoing Desmond's lead. Like Mulligan's famous group with trumpeter Chet Baker, this is a pianoless quartet, and the open harmonic atmosphere casts the saxophonists' interplay in high relief. Desmond's title tune and Mulligan's "Blight of the Fumble Bee" lead to extended passages of collective improvisation, while Mulligan often supplies Desmond with restrained counterlines. On "The Way You Look Tonight," the theme gradually emerges out of Desmond's part in an almost fuguelike improvisation. The LP-length recording took a surprising three sessions to produce, and there's a revolving door for rhythm sections. Drummer Connie Kay from the Modern Jazz Quartet appears on two tracks with bassist Wendell Marshall and one with John Beal. Drummer Mel Lewis teams with bassist Joe Benjamin on the other three. Despite that, there's nothing lacking in the quality of the support: the two saxophonists sound consistently--if quietly--inspired. --Stuart Broomer

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
The booklets are usually quite good.
William E. Adams
Ironically, both Desmond and Mulligan played music far more exciting - separately as well as together - when playing with Dave Brubeck.
Joost Daalder
The two men complement one another's playing beautifully, as both of them were highly melodic improvisers.
Jerlaw

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By William E. Adams on September 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
"Two of a Mind" is a studio-only project from the summer of 1962. Desmond had done a record led by Gerry several years prior, and it was Mulligan's turn to play with Paul on a project he would control. Because of heavy workloads, the two principals collaborated in three separate sessions during June, July and August in New York. Also due to scheduling difficulties, the rhythm section changed at each session. On the six tunes which made the original LP, there are three different bassists and two different drummers. Also on the six LP selections, Desmond did a little studio trickery: some of the improvised solos were put together from different sessions, and on one tune he overdubbed a third saxophone for one verse. If you didn't know this, however, you'd never guess it. The counterpoint improvs of Gerry on baritone and Paul on alto are consistently interesting. Overall the disc is more uptempo than Desmond's other work as a leader. The product lacks that special magic which can often be found on a good recording by a quartet which plays live together and often, but it is a subtle loss. This reissue adds five bonus tracks, including two with guitarist Jim Hall which did not make Desmond's final list for LP inclusion, but which are quite nice. The two leads are highly skilled, and they seemed to like each other a lot and to bring out good things for one another. Not Desmond's best work by a long shot, nor Mulligan's, but worth owning if you are partial to either man. I'm glad BMG is doing these Bluebird First Edition releases from the RCA vaults. The booklets are usually quite good. They come in cardboard cases instead of jewel cases, and I'm not sure if I like that or not yet. Maybe they could knock a dollar or two off the price and be an even better value, but if, like me, you enjoy the classic jazz of the 1946-'66 generation, you should buy some of these reissues to encourage the company to keep them coming.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By William Gowers on February 22, 2001
Format: Audio CD
See my previous review of regarding the first Desmond/Mulligan collaboration..."Gerry Mulligan/Paul Desmond Quartet". "Two of a Mind" and "Gerry Mulligan/Paul Desmond Quartet" should be sold as a set. It would be musical heresy to buy one and not the other. These two CDs represent an uncanny level of telepathy in jazz improvisation that has never since been acheived between two musicians. If there is music in heaven it's being played by Desmond and Mulligan. Enjoy!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By bruce horner on August 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
When Desmond and Mulligan first got together on record it resulted in the 1957 Verve album "Gerry Mulligan/Paul Desmond Quartet." Worthy as that LP was, this 1962 album for RCA is better, a complete classic from start to finish. Perhaps they'd each simply improved as players in the intervening years, perhaps they listened more closely to each other, but the feel of the album fully justifies the title. If you only want to get one, THIS is the one to get.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Joost Daalder on September 22, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I did not hear this recording in 1962 when it came out. The booklet accompanying this CD suggests that, comparatively speaking, "Two of a Mind" fell flat among its potential audience because of the Bossa Nova craze, which did, indeed, attract a lot of attention. But many of us were listening intently to jazz at the same time, and I think it is not impossible that this recording just did not fire many people in 1962, and hence never became popular, because it was not judged exciting enough. Hearing it now, that is certainly what I feel myself. Normally, I am a great fan of both Desmond and Mulligan, and the prospect of hearing the two together greatly appealed to me when I bought the CD. The music is affable, pleasant, and competent, but, though the performances are impeccable enough (after all, both saxopohonists were among the really great ones of their period), there is a degree of lifelessness here - a lack of the necessary spark. I tend to listen to the CD as pleasant background music rather than as a strong musical experience, and doubt whether I would buy it again. Ironically, both Desmond and Mulligan played music far more exciting - separately as well as together - when playing with Dave Brubeck. I feel that on this occasion they did not truly inspire each other, even though working harmoniously enough...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 19, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Desmond and Mulligan recorded two albums together in a quartet form; Blues in Time and Two of a Mind. Both are classics; the sessions sound loose and free, and they really swing. In fact, rarely outside of the Dave Brubeck quartet did Paul Desmond find the ability to swing like this, as his solo outtings often tended to be more somber. The Baritone of Mulligan really compliments Desmond's alto very well. If you have to choose between Blues in Time and this album, your better bet is to go with this album. They both sound like they could have come from the same sessions, but the songs just tend to hold together a bit better on Two of a Mind. Be sure to check out Desmond literally breath new life into "Stardust."
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 2, 2003
Format: Audio CD
A nice, informal session with cool jazz alto saxophonist Paul Desmond and his likeminded West Coast pal, baritone Gerry Mulligan. This disc features several songs that were skillfully edited together from multiple studio takes -- pretty seamlessly, when you listen to them -- and they show the deft, good-natured interplay and genuine warmth these two shared. The CD reissue adds five new tracks, only two of which are alternate (or unedited) versions of songs that appeared on the original 1962 album. Included are two loose-limbed jam sessions that also featured guitarist Jim Hall, one of Desmond's most sympathetic creative partners. Perhaps a bit forceful overall, and not as fluid and soft-touched as Desmond's best work, but still a fine jazz album.
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