Jeru: In the Words of Gerry Mulligan
An Oral Autobiography
"Young Blood" | Pianoless Quartet | Chet Baker | On Counterpoint | Addictions
Thelonious Monk | Live vs. Studio | Gene Krupa | Astor & Franca | Editor's Note
Gerry moved to Los Angeles in the spring of 1952 with girlfriend, Gail Madden, and got work there as an arranger with Stan Kenton. While relegated to writing mostly dance arrangements, Gerry was asked to write an original composition, the now classic "Young Blood."
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Gail and I took off for Los Angeles and looked up Bob Graettinge, who was in touch with Stan Kenton, and I wound up getting the opportunity to write for the band. Even though it wasn't my ideal band or style or anything, I was very glad to get the job and did my best to try to satisfy Stan. I wrote a lot of charts for him at that period. I remember that the first thing I wrote for him was very contrapuntal, I was trying to do a thing that built an ensemble sound out of all the unison contrapuntal lines, and it built up to a nice solid ensemble chorus.
Stan didn't really like it very well, so he said if I rewrote it he would take it, so I did. I put the tune "Walking Shoes" on the first part and used the out chorus from the piece that was there. That was alright. He made sure that I understood that the other guys were to do the concert stuff, and what I was writing would be the dog work, writing the dance arrangements, which was alright with me because I liked the tunes. I did the best I could with them. I'm not sure how much he liked them. I threw in a few originals along the way.
Then he had the idea that I should write a piece called "Young Blood," so I did.
Young Blood / Gerry Mulligan. Arranged by Gerry Mulligan. Performed by the Stan Kenton Band. From the album, "New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm". 
- Gail Madden is a musician who played the piano and dreamed of forming an all-star small band with Gerry, Max Roach and other great musicians which would be a teaching ensemble. She performs on Mulligan Meets Mulligan (back to transcript)
- Gerry's reputation as one of the great jazz composers could be firmly established by the single example of "Young Blood," a masterpiece of instrumental writing. (back to transcript)
- "Walking Shoes," a classic tune of Gerry's, was recorded with the same group as "Nights At the Turntable" in 1952 by the original Gerry Mulligan Quartet. (back to transcript)