This album titled song was composed by Gerry Mulligan and this particular piece to me is straight out of the jazz history books. It is a timeless mood for those of us who like the wee hours of the morning and the dark we seem so accustomed to as if 3:00am is the norm.
It reminds me of either driving around or sitting down by Detroit’s riverfront on a hot summer night when it’s still 80 degrees out in the middle of the night.
Mulligan took to the piano himself on this 63′ rendition and laid down one of jazz’s most beautiful pieces. I could have picked a thousand that he did on sax. This mans bio reads like the who of who’s playing with almost every big known jazz musicians there was. And after you hear it you understand why he and Chet Baker hooked up for the time they did and were so damn in-sync. Their styles and moods of playing got you as hooked up as the drug of their choice they both seem to seep into, the drug being jazz within a world of their own.
But make no mistake it was the talent they possessed which enabled them to come so clear across with dead on clarity. Both became part of the West Coast Cool of the 50s and it’s not hard to understand why. Night Lights is so good you don’t know whether to cry from total melancholy or because you know while your hearing it that you’ll wonder if it can get any better or as good.
It makes your escape from reality 100% complete.
Night Lights (some line up of players)
Gerry Mulligan – piano, baritone saxophone
Art Farmer – flugelhorn
Bob Brookmeyer – trombone
Jim Hall – guitar
Bill Crow – bass
Dave Bailey – drums