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Collection The Gerry Mulligan Collection

About this Collection

[Portrait of Gerry Mulligan, ca. 1980s] by William P. Gottlieb. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

As a saxophonist, composer, arranger and band leader, Gerry Mulligan (1927-1996) is a jazz legend. The Library of Congress serves as the repository for the Gerry Mulligan Collection, which it obtained in the late 1990s. In this initial Web offering, the Library of Congress is making available excerpts from his autobiography and selected scores and sound recordings. From his involvement in The Birth of the Cool recordings with Miles Davis, to his legendary "pianoless" quartet in 1951, to the creation of the sound known as "West Coast Jazz," Mulligan played a vital role in the evolution of jazz. In addition to forming his own bands such as the Pianoless Quartet and the Concert Jazz Band (with other renowned jazz artists such as Chet Baker, Art Farmer, Bob Brookmeyer), he also collaborated with many prominent musicians during his career such as Dave Brubeck, Charles Mingus, Astor Piazolla, and Dave Grusin. A versatile musician, Mulligan also composed music for films and symphony orchestras.

The Library of Congress serves as the repository for the Gerry Mulligan Collection, which it obtained in the late 1990s. Consisting of approximately 700 items, the collection includes original scores, lead sheets, sketches, arrangements and parts, photographs, sound recordings, correspondence and papers relating to different concerts and projects, and an oral autobiography which Mulligan recorded shortly before he died. In this initial Web offering, the Library of Congress is making available excerpts from his autobiography and selected scores and sound recordings. Additional items from the Mulligan Collection will be added to this site in the near future.

Other sound recordings and photographs that are not expressly in the Mulligan Collection are also available on this Web site to further illustrate portions of Mulligan's life and career. Information on the provenance of these items is in the bibliographic record for each item.

Most of the items on this site have been made available through the kind permission of either Franca R. Mulligan or other rights holders. In some cases, the rights' owners of sound recordings have given permission to use only a portion of the material online. In those instances, only thirty seconds is used from a sound recording. Please check the accompanying bibliographic record for each item to determine if permission is needed to use the item.

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