Gerry Mulligan Meets Paul Desmond (also known as Blues in Time) marked the first of only two studio albums featuring the two horn players in a quartet format. The dates made use of the same basic instrumentation employed by Mulligan in his classic piano-less quartet with Chet Baker, but with Desmond’s alto instead of Baker’s trumpet. A highly lyrical player, Desmond’s sound fits perfectly with the deep tone of Mulligan’s baritone sax, and their interplay is very satisfying. Although Mulligan and Desmond had never previously collaborated in a studio, they had shared the same stage, performing together on the final jam session (on “Tea for Two”) at the 1955 Newport Jazz Festival. Fortunately, the long tune was recorded for posterity and is their earliest existing collaboration (Clifford Brown and Chet Baker were the other horns present on that jam).
The overwhelming success of the present LP (from a musical if not commercial standpoint) led to their second album, titled Two of a Mind, which would be recorded in 1962. Following that, Mulligan and Desmond would be reunited for several concerts, mostly featuring Gerry as a guest of the Dave Brubeck quartet. Their last recorded encounter dates back to a Berlin performance on November 4, 1972.
GERRY MULLIGAN, baritone saxophone PAUL DESMOND, alto saxophone JOE BENJAMIN, bass DAVE BAILEY, drums
SIDE A: 01. Blues In Time 02. Body And Soul 03. Stand Still 04. Line For Lyons
SIDE B: 01. Wintersong 02. Battle Hymn Of The Republican 03. Fall Out 04. Lover