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This nearly 150 page collection of music by Gerry Mulligan is known as a “Combo-Ork” or a small group orchestration book, and it includes three folios each with top and bottom parts, with books in Bb,C, and Eb. Each book include chords for accompaniment with Piano, Guitar, Accordion, or Strings, which means you can make an ensemble out of whatever group you have on hand. You can take your small combo to gigs, weddings, and clubs and use these melodies and counter melodies to make your own custom arrangements.
Gerry Mulligan was one of the inventors of the contemporary jazz form, and his early promise experimenting with small forward looking groups achieves fruition with this extensive exhibit of his art. Gerry was that rare phenomenon – a truly originative talent. Everything he did was unique and he had the unalterable courage to do as he “hears” fit. With it all, there is no restraining self consciousness. Quite the contrary, Gerry is irresistibly “full of malarkey!” There’s an impishness about both him and his music that lends great charm. He’s a young composer who somehow combines the restless intensity of a serious and sensitive composer with the levity of a leprechaun. And it’s all here in the music.
Gerry’s early background in the music field is surprisingly orthodox. He een arranged for Tommy Tucker and Elliot Lawrence, but he quickly espoused the modern sounds and “gigged” around New York with the small coterie of musicians that spearheaded the search for the new and interesting things to say in jazz. He helped to organize, write for, and play on one of the the milestones of modern jazz, the Miles Davis “Move” record date for Capitol.