Legendary saxophone player Gerry Mulligan (1927-1996) would have turned 90 today (April 6th)! In commemoration of his birthday and Jazz Appreciation Month, we invite you to explore the Gerry Mulligan Collection at the Library of Congress. Below are links to the collection finding aid, articles, and some fun digital resources. If you have any reference questions, contact our music reference librarians via Ask a Librarian.
Selected Gerry Mulligan Resources at the Library of Congress
Discography [by Gerard Dugelay, France and Kenneth Hallqvist, Sweden]
About the Gerry Mulligan Collection
As a saxophonist, composer, arranger and band leader, Gerry Mulligan (1927-1996) is a jazz legend. In the digital version of the Gerry Mulligan Collection, 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, and 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 loc.gov 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.