Essential: a masterpiece of Folk music
Brady’s first solo album, Welcome Here Kind Stranger is his second (and final) folk recording prior to his embarking on a successful, long-term foray into the realm of mainstream rock. Its title is a phrase taken from one of the album’s songs: “The Lakes of Pontchartrain”. The album was initially released (vinyl and cassette) on Dónal Lunny’s Mulligan label (LUN024) in 1978 and was voted “Folk Album of the Year” by Melody Maker magazine. The album was never officially released on CD due to a breakdown in the relationship between Brady and the Mulligan label and remained out of print for many years, until finally re-mastered and released in 2009 on Brady’s own label, PeeBee Music.
This is a rather relaxed recording featuring baritonist Gerry Mulligan and some of his top alumni (trumpeter Art Farmer, trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Bill Crow, and drummer Dave Bailey) exploring three of his own songs (including "Festive Minor"), Chopin's Prelude in E minor, "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," and "Morning of the Carnival" (from Black Orpheus). The emphasis is on ballads and nothing too innovative occurs, but the results are pleasing and laid-back.
In the summer of 1991 Gerry Mulligan decided to revisit Miles Davis's Birth of the Cool recordings. He discussed it with Miles Davis himself who said he might be interested in participating but sadly Davis died a few months later. With Wallace Roney (the perfect sound-alike) in the trumpeter's place, baritonist Mulligan got the band's original pianist and tuba player (John Lewis and Bill Barber), used his own bassist (Dean Johnson) and drummer (Ron Vincent), and found able substitutes in altoist Phil Woods (unfortunately Lee Konitz was unavailable to play his old parts), trombonist Dave Bargeron and John Clark on French horn.