May 28, 2024

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CD review: David Larsen – The Mulligan Chronicles 2021: Video, CD cover

Baritone saxophonist David Larsen, an experienced musician who has collected diplomas from several universities and is now receiving his next degree at the Washington State University, in his next, far from the first album, presented a wonderful tribute to his famous colleague on the instrument.

Gerry Mulligen (1927-1996) – Larsen’s idol. He studied his work and absorbed his music for many years. As David himself says, “In my study of Mulligen’s work, I visited the Library of Congress and saw hundreds of sheets with Mulligen’s own musical scores, I interviewed countless musicians. Zubin Mehta, Ted Rosenthal, and many others I interviewed agree that Gerry Mulligen was a musical genius. ”

Larsen considers Mulligen to be primarily an outstanding composer. In this regard, he compiled the album “The Chronicles of Mulligan” from the works of Mulligan of different years. “Mulligen has written for big bands, small bands, film and symphony orchestras, so it was a great pleasure for me to select his best works for this album,” says David Larsen. The result is a program that incorporates both Gerry’s early pieces, such as Walkin ‘Shoes or Festive Minor, and those written shortly before the death of the musician Lonesome Boulevard and Rico Apollo.

To make the album as similar as possible to the works of his idol, Larsen put together an ensemble of musicians who worked with him. Trombonist Dave Glenn participated in the recording of the Grammy-winning album Walk on Water (1981), and renowned pianist Bill Mays played and recorded with Mulligen a lot. Late in Mulligen’s career, bassist Dean Johnson collaborated with him, and drummer Ron Vincent was part of the Mulligan quartet in the 90s. It would probably not be entirely ethical to compare the sound of Larsen’s baritone saxophone and his outstanding predecessor, but the participation of Mulligen’s former colleagues in the recording helped to give the recording an atmosphere as close as possible to his lifetime recordings. I was most impressed by the ballad plan of the piece Etude for Franca and Lonesome Boulevard, as well as the unison lines of baritone sax and trombone on several tracks. In general, a good gift to all fans of Mulligen, who will be able to appreciate the performance of David Larsen himself and his quintet.

1 Walkin’ Shoes 6:18
2 Curtains 6:19
3 Festive Minor 5:27
4 Lonesome Boulevard 5:05
5 Good Neighbor Thelonious 4:31
6 Rico Apollo 4:27
7 Open Country 4:31
8 The Flying Scotsman 5:54
9 Out Back of the Barn 4:24
10 Etude for Franca 2:37
11 Idol Gossip 5:06
12 Ring Around a Bright Star 3:28
13 Taurus Moon 3:51

Acoustic Bass – Dean Johnson
Baritone Saxophone – David Larsen
Drums – Ron Vincent
Piano – Bill Mays
Trombone – Dave Glenn

The Mulligan Chronicles | David Larsen

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