Gerry Mulligan – Jeru

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This Black Print 360 original stereo pressing from 1962 put every other copy we played to shame – it’s White Hot on both sides. Tubier, more transparent, more dynamic, with that “jumpin’ out of the speakers’ quality that only The Real Thing (an old record) ever has. Hard to imagine any reissue, vintage or otherwise, can beat the sound of this amazing LP – we sure couldn’t find one. 

This copy managed to find just the right Vintage All Tube Jazz Sound we’ve come to know and love over the years. We know this sound well; we’ve played these kinds of vintage records by the hundreds.

It’s the rare copy that offers what is good about a Tubey Magical analog recording from The Golden Age of early ’60s Jazz — clean and clear but rich and sweet — but manages to avoid the pitfalls so common to them: compression, opacity and blubber. To be sure, the fault is not with the recording (I guess; again, not having heard the master tape) but with the typical pressing.

Bad vinyl, bad mastering, who knows why so many copies sound so closed in and lacking in Tubey Magic — and we’re talking originals, not the much more common reissues. When you play a good half dozen originals and early pressings back to back to back, it’s not hard to hear the ones that open up yet while still retaining all the richness and the relaxed quality you expect from an All Tube 1962 jazz recording.

The Sound

Full-bodied sound, open and spacious, bursting with life and energy — these are the hallmarks of our Truly Hot Stampers. If your stereo is cookin’ these days, this record will surely be an unqualified Sonic Treat. We guarantee that no heavy vinyl pressing, of this or any other album, has the kind of analog magic found here. Or your money back.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Capricious 
Here I’ll Stay 
Inside Impromptu 
You’ve Come Home

Side Two

Get Out Of Town 
Blue Boy 
Lonely Town

AMG Review

While Gerry Mulligan was famous in the 1950s for leading pianoless quartets, he never had anything against pianists; in fact he often played piano himself. This 1962 quintet session finds Jeru utilizing the strong talents of pianist Tommy Flanagan along with bassist Ben Tucker, drummer Dave Bailey, and the congas of Alec Dorsey to play seven songs (all but “Get Out of Town” are somewhat obscure). Mulligan is in fine form and, even if the music on this LP is not all that essential, it is quite enjoyable.

JazzTimes Review

Jeru was a favor that Gerry Mulligan did for his drummer, Dave Bailey, who owned a startup label called Jazzline. Mulligan was bet-ween recording contracts. The ensemble played together only once, during the four-and-a-half-hour session when Jeru was made in 1962. It features Tommy Flanagan on piano, Ben Tucker on bass, Bailey on drums and Alec Dorsey on congas. The album never appeared on Jazzline because CBS bought the master and released it on Columbia.

It was Mulligan’s first-ever experience of recording with a piano without the presence of other soloists. Not for a moment would you suspect that he is in uncharted waters. Jeru flawlessly swings with a relaxed, throbbing, positive life force. Mulligan’s guttural gliding and Flanagan’s pristine comping are almost too perfect for jazz. “Here I’ll Stay” and “You’ve Come Home” could roll and tumble forever. The concluding “Lonely Town” begins in poignant whispers but can’t resist the pull of sprightly double time.

The recorded sound, achieved by an unidentified engineer at Nola Penthouse Studio in New York City, has remarkable presence and three-dimensionality. Jeru is one of the quickest 30 minutes in jazz.