Vinyl -> Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply, cork ringmat); Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 96khz; Click Repair light settings; individual clicks and pops taken out with Adobe Audition 3.0 - dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced (for 16-bit). Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.
Two of the giants of West Coast jazz were brought together again for the high profile concert documented here. While ostensibly given equal billing on the marquee, this is really Mulligan's show, who wrote all the material here except for My Funny Valentine and whose playing is top-notch throughout. Gerry Mulligan went through a career comeback of sorts in the early 70s, putting out fantastic records like Age of Steam, while Chet Baker on the other hand, well... was pretty into smack at this point. He is barely even there on most of this record. He plays well enough I guess, when he plays at all, but mostly he's just phoning it in. Mulligan more than picks up the slack, however, and these guys in the CTI stable are no slouches. While the band still has the shimmering gloss common to all CTI material, it is refreshing to hear these guys outside of the funk-lite context of majority of those records and know they can play "straight" bop and cool jazz when needed. Harvey Mason plays with a subtlety I didn't think he had in him, while Bob James lays down the velvet carpet of electric piano texture you would expect from him. John Scofield's performance depends on what you think of John Scofield: he's never done much for me personally but his presence here is innocuous. This 'new' batch of West Coast session vets may not lend the same immediacy to Mulligan and Baker that they had in their Pacific Jazz heyday, but it's a satisfying listen nonetheless. Oddly enough after years and years of owning this LP, I only recently picked up Volume 2 at a local shop, dirt cheap. It needs to be cleaned and hasn't even been listened to yet, so I'm not sure if it is in good enough shape to justify a blog post. But stumbling on it reminded me that I did this needledrop last year, at least.