Gerry Mulligan
Meets Thelonious Monk = DMM 180g vinyl LP =

  1 x LP   180grs   33⅓rpm   

( 1957 ) 2017 EU reissue 180g vinyl LP - with “'round Midnight”, “Rhythm-A-Ning”, “Sweet And Lovely”, “Decidedly”

Label:  Jazz Wax 
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Release date 30-09-2017 (Originally released in 1957)

2017 EU reissue 180g vinyl LP - Thelonious Monk was a creator in the true sense of the word. The current LP includes one of his rare albums that could fit within the standard formula of “jazz star 1 meets jazz star 2”. (“'round Midnight”, “Rhythm-A-Ning”, “Sweet And Lovely”, “Decidedly”)

The pianist seldom shared the bill with other stars (which could compromise his own musical individuality) or accepted playing second fiddle to anyone. Two rare exceptions include his two 1950 sides backing singer Frankie Passions (“Especially to You” and “Nobody Knows”), and his June 6, 1950 studio session backing Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. (Thelonious wasn’t working a lot during that period and Bird made a point of getting him on the date.) But Monk is the leader on the vast majority of his recordings, and in a way he was also the leading voice on this meeting with Gerry Mulligan.

Most of the tunes played here are compositions by Monk, with the exception of the standard “Sweet and Lovely” – a favorite of Monk’s, who recorded it dozens of times – and CharlieShavers’ “Undecided”, which could well have been Gerry’s only call for the evening. Although it remains clearly recognizable, the latter tune was slightly modified here, retitled “Decidedly”, and attributed to Mulligan himself. No other recording of “Undecided” by Monk is known to exist. Mulligan would record this title again with Stan Getz in 1966 (also under the title “Decidedly” for the album Something Borrowed, Something Blue).

A1 'Round Midnight 8:28
A2 Rhythm-A-Ning 5:20
A3 Sweet And Lovely 7:17
B1 Decidedly 5:52
B2 Straight, No Chaser 6:58
B3 I Mean You 6:52
B4 Straight, No Chaser (Alternate Version) 5:28

As the original producer Orrin Keepnews pointed out, “’Round Midnight” was a Mulligan request, as he wanted to record the song with its composer. It is clearly one of the best tracks of the whole album. However, the fact that no new compositions by Monk were recorded on this date seems to indicate that Monk always preferred to make his own albums and didn’t dedicate too much time to such experiments as Mulligan Meets Monk, which he may have regarded as a “commercial” venture.


  • Gerry Mulligan - baritone sax
  • Thelonious Monk - piano
  • Wilbur Ware - bass
  • Shadow Wilson - drums

New York, August 12 (A2, B2-B4) and August 13

Discs: 1
Drager(LP,EP,12,7,CD): LP
Qual(120grs,150grs,180grs): 180grs
Speed(33,45): 33
Label: Jazz Wax
Originally released: 1957
This release: 2017
Jazz Classics (112)
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