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Gerry Mulligan – “My Funny Valentine” – Album: “What Is There To Say?” (1959)

Gerry Mulligan – “My Funny Valentine” – Album: “What Is There To Say?” (1959)

Over on the West Coast, arranger and baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan — who’d worked with Miles Davis on the records that became known as Birth of the Cool – took “cool” jazz further than Miles had done. By playing without a chord instrument – a guitar or piano – his band achieved a spare, pared-down feeling. His perfect front-line partner was trumpeter Chet Baker, whose economical, Spartan inventions contrasted perfectly with Mulligan’s more harmonically complex baritone sax. This song would later be a big hit for Chet as a vocalist, but the original version by the Mulligan Quartet is a benchmark in the development of cool jazz.

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