March 17, 1999 Gerry Mulligan Exhibition and Concert at Library of Congress
Press Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
A permanent exhibition dedicated to the late jazz composer and performer Gerry Mulligan opens in the foyer of the Performing Arts Reading Room of the Library of Congress, LM 113, in the Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., on April 6. The exhibition, which features Mulligan's gold-plated baritone saxophone, is drawn from the Gerry Mulligan Collection, recently acquired by the Library's Music Division. Consisting of photographs, music manuscripts, musical scores and record album covers, the exhibition documents Mulligan's career of nearly half a century.
The Gerry Mulligan Collection contains a large number of musical scores, curated and annotated by the composer himself, as well as sound recordings and his favorite baritone saxophone. Among the materials in the collection are original manuscripts by other artists with whom Gerry Mulligan was associated., such as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Judy Holliday and John Coltrane.
To celebrate the Library's acquisition of the collection, the "Gerry Mulligan Tribute Band" will perform an all-Mulligan concert on April 6 at 8 p.m. in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E. The band is led by Mulligan's friend and colleague, composer and trombone player Bob Brookmeyer. Randy Brecker on trumpet and saxophonists Scott Robinson, baritone, and Dick Oatts, alto, join longtime Mulligan quartet players Ted Rosenthal, piano, Dean Johnson, bass, and Ron Vincent on drums.
As a saxophone player of prodigious technique and a uniquely personal style, Mulligan was an international jazz celebrity. He performed his own music in concerts throughout the world, and on radio, television, and in motion pictures. Born on April 6, 1927, in New York City, he grew up in Philadelphia, where he first began arranging for a local radio station. His original works were recorded with Gene Krupa, ClaudeThornhill, Stan Kenton, Duke Ellington, Elliot Lawrence, and Miles Davis.
In the early 1950s, Mulligan moved to Los Angeles and formed his legendary "pianoless" quartet featuring trumpet player Chet Baker. In 1960 he formed the Concert Jazz Band, a 13-piece ensemble based on the idea of the "pianoless" quartet, with Bob Brookmeyer, Art Farmer, and Zoot Sims. Until his death in 1996, he continued to explore new musical frontiers as guest soloist and composer/arranger for other bands, symphony orchestras, chamber groups, and jazz festivals. Artists he collaborated with include Astor Piazolla, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Barry Manilow, Zubin Mehta, Benny Carter, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Count Basie, Wynton Marsalis, Sarah Vaughan, and Ella Fitzgerald.
The Mulligan Collection complements and strengthens the Library's already notable collections of some of the major figures in the history of jazz, including Charles Mingus, Ella Fitzgerald, drummer Louie Bellson, bandleaders Buddy Collette and Gerald Wilson, as well as the photographs of jazz artists by William Gottlieb.
Researchers will be able to use the collection, once it is fully processed, in the Performing Arts Reading Room of the Music Division.
Free tickets for the concert will be distributed by TicketMaster at (301) 808-6900 or (410) 752- 1200, for a nominal service charge of $2 per ticket, with additional charges for phone orders and handling. Tickets are also available at TicketMaster outlets. Although the supply of tickets may be exhausted, there are often empty seats at concert time. Interested patrons are encouraged to come to the Library by 6:30 p.m. on concert night to try to obtain no-show tickets at the door.