Jeru's Journey

The Life & Music of Gerry Mulligan

Series: Book
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Format: Softcover
Author: Sanford Josephson

In a career that spanned more than 50 years, Gerry Mulligan was revered and recognized as a groundbreaking composer, arranger, bandleader, and baritone saxophonist. His legacy comes to life in this biography, which chronicles his immense contributions to American music, far beyond the world of jazz. Mulligan's own observations are drawn from his oral autobiography, recorded in 1995. These are intermingled with comments and recollections from those who knew him, played with him, or were influenced by him, as well as from the author, who interviewed him in 1981.

Jeru's Journey – The Life & Music of Gerry Mulligan vividly recounts all the major milestones and complications in Mulligan's extraordinary life and career, ranging from his early days of arranging for big bands in the 1940s to his chance 1974 meeting with Countess Franca Rota, who would have a major impact on the last two decades of his life. In between were his battles with drugs; his significant contributions to the historic 1949 Birth of the Cool recording; the introduction of an enormously popular piano-less quartet in the early 1950s; the creation of his innovative concert jazz band in the early '60s; his collaboration – personal and professional – with actress Judy Holliday; his breakthrough into classical music; and his love of and respect for the American Songbook.

$19.99 (US)
Inventory #HL 00122921
ISBN: 9781480360242
UPC: 884088953317
Width: 6.0"
Length: 9.0"
224 pages


“In the pantheon of jazz, Gerry Mulligan represents not one, but two major voices. He is not only one of the inarguably historic voices on the baritone saxophone, but he is also a major arranger who wrote for some of the major big bands and his own recordings, not to mention the game-changing 1949 Birth of the Cool recording which is often credited only to Gil Evans but also featured Mulligan's arranging voice...This book, and [author Sanford]Josephson's obvious hard work and deep passion, are all deserved by someone of Mulligan's depth and importance.” – Saxophone Today

Jeru's Journey is an important addition to the history of jazz and especially towards the scholarship of Gerry Mulligan...What Josephson has done has been essentially to compile a complete picture of Mulligan's life and career, and this is what makes Jeru's Journey an important addition towards representing Mullligan in a broader light. Hopefully other scholars will take notice and acknowledge his other, equally important accomplishments.” – ARSC Journal

“Gerry Mulligan's career spanned over five decades, yet it is only now, a decade after his death, that a serious biography of the master has appeared. What Sanford Josephson manages to accomplish in a mere 180 pages is remarkable, creating a detailed portrait of the perennial poll-winning baritone saxophonist, noteworthy bandleader, composer and arranger, who also added something special to every band of which he was a part. Josephson skillfully blends excerpts from Mulligan's oral biography Jeru: In the Words of Gerry Mulligan and the video documentary Listen: Gerry Mulligan, along with the author's own interviews with the artist and musicians who either played with or were influenced by him. If that isn't enough, Josephson does a masterful job incorporating excerpts of reviews, articles and liner notes into his text, creating a fast-paced yet thorough history of Mulligan's many contributions...Josephson's biography of Gerry Mulligan sets a high standard for all jazz journalists.” – New York City Jazz Record

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