Smithsonian Collections

Gerry Mulligan and Zoot Sims

Image for Gerry Mulligan and Zoot Sims
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition Label
Described as “one of the great improvisers of postwar jazz,” baritone saxophonist, arranger, composer, and bandleader Gerry Mulligan (left) played a key role in the cool jazz movement.
When his work as an arranger for the orchestras of Gene Krupa and George Thornhill brought Mulligan to New York City in 1946, he gravitated to a circle of experimental musicians that included Miles Davis. He joined them in recording Birth of the Cool in 1949 and 1950, contributing three compositions and two arrangements to that landmark album. Mulligan proved instrumental in establishing California as the epicenter of West Coast cool jazz in 1952 when, with trumpeter Chet Baker, he created his groundbreaking pianoless quartet. Returning to New York in 1954, Mulligan formed a new combo, whose changing roster of musicians at times included tenor saxophonist and veteran sideman Zoot Sims (right). When Mulligan later established his Concert Jazz Band (1960), Sims was among its soloists.
Descrito como “uno de los grandes improvisadores en el jazz de posguerra”, el saxofonista barítono, arreglista, compositor y director musical Gerry Mulligan (izquierda) tuvo un papel clave en el movimiento del cool jazz. Cuando su trabajo como arreglista para las orquestas de Gene Krupa y George Thornhill lo llevó a la ciudad de New York en 1946, Mulligan se relacionó con un círculo de músicos experimentales entre los que estaba Miles Davis. Con ellos participó en la grabación de Birth of the Cool en 1949 y 1950, aportando tres composiciones y dos arreglos al histórico disco. Mulligan contribuyó de manera crucial a convertir a California en epicentro del West Coast cool jazz cuando en 1952 creó junto al trompetista Chet Baker su trascendental cuarteto sin piano. De regreso a New York en 1954, formó un nuevo combo cuyo elenco alternante incluyó ocasionalmente al saxofonista tenor y veterano sideman Zoot Sims (derecha). Cuando Mulligan estableció posteriormente su Concert Jazz Band (1960), Sims fue uno de sus solistas.
Artist
Herman Leonard, 1923 - 2010
Sitter
Gerry Mulligan, 6 Apr 1927 - 19 Jan 1996
Zoot Sims, 29 Oct 1925 - 23 Mar 1985
Date
1955 (printed 1998)
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Medium
Selenium-toned gelatin silver print
Dimensions
Image: 31.7 × 30.5cm (12 1/2 × 12")
Sheet: 50.4 × 40.6cm (19 13/16 × 16")
Frame: 71.8 × 56.5 × 3.8 cm (28 1/4 × 22 1/4 × 1 1/2")
Type
Photograph
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Object number
NPG.2014.111.19
Topic
Equipment\Sound Devices\Microphone
Music\Musical instrument\Saxophone
Music\Sheet music
Interior\Performing Arts
Music\Music stand
Zoot Sims: Male
Zoot Sims: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Horn\Saxophonist
Zoot Sims: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Gerry Mulligan: Male
Gerry Mulligan: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Portrait
Place
United States\New York\Kings\New York
Restrictions & Rights
© Herman Leonard Photography LLC