In August 1979 at the end of a European tour, Gerry invited Mitchel Forman and Richie De Rosa, members of Gerry’s Quartet, to my parent’s villa in Tuscany to write and play music. Gerry was so enthusiastic about Mitchel’s talent that he decided to record him.
We went to the Capolinea Studio in Milano which was behind the renowned Jazz Club Capolinea, which translates as “End of the Trolley Line”, where all the best musicians stopped by when touring in Europe. It was a very friendly place where the owner and his family offered good, down to earth meals to famous and the not so famous performers!
The recorded master tape sat on the shelves in Gerry’s music studio for many years until one day I came across it again. So now we can enjoy the young Mitchel performing compositions written by himself, Gerry and Richie, with vitality and beauty. “Franca Mulligan”
This wonderfully strange disc, Lost and Found is the result of a confluence of spirits. Recorded in 1979, pianist Mitchel Forman was performing with Gerry Mulligan’s quartet. Forman was invited to the Tuscan villa of Franca Mulligan’s parents, Gerry’s in-laws. There, Mulligan recorded the young pianist performing originals and Mulligan compositions. Besides a church-arty “Jeru,” Forman performed Mulligan’s “Butterflies with Hiccups.”
The composition possesses elements of 1920s jazz piano, stride, ragtime, and mainstream. Forman’s playing captures the title perfectly with his off-time, almost loping playing, centering around an ostensible waltz meter. Forman leaves very little space for silence, but he does not do so in too wordy a way as Art Tatum often did. His playing does have a dense economy where no notes are wasted. This recording is a gem from beginning to end, teetering on the crown of “Butterflies with Hiccups.”