Monday, April 20, 2015
Listening to Prestige 102: Teddy Charles / Bob Brookmeyer
Actually, I suspect that Charles and Mulligan would have been a great combination, partly because Mulligan could play with anyone, partly because Charles brought out something new and interesting in anyone he teamed up with--and actually, Brookmeyer brought some of that same experimental spirit with him when he joined forces with Mulligan.
Brookmeyer came out of the Claude Thornhill orchestra, which seems to have been an exceptional proving ground for important jazz arrangers. Mulligan and Gil Evans also started with Thornhill. But for most jazz chroniclers, Brookmeyer's careeer begins in earnest when he joined Mulligan on the West Coast. This session with Teddy Charles seems to be overlooked, which is too bad. He shares co-leader credit with the more established jazzman, and deserves it. The lead passes back and forth between the two, and a real conversation is created.
"Nobody's Heart" was released on a 78 along with "So Long Broadway" from the West Coast group with Wardell Gray. All four were released on a ten-inch under the dual leadership banner, and later on 12-inch under Brookmeyer's name twice: once on Prestige and once on New Jazz.