'Cool' Gets California Revival

Los Angeles Jazz Institute hosts extensive four-day fest celebrating all things 'cool'

Things were different back in mid-century America—when the West was still somewhat of a frontier, not considered on the scale of the great Eastern and even Midwestern metropolitan cultures.

But one of the things that truly established California on the American cultural radar was its distinct brand of 'Cool Jazz,' also known back then as the 'West Coast Sound.'

Ready for a revival? The Los Angeles Jazz Institute casts a slightly wider net with its upcoming festival, 'Something Cool,' a series of 26 concerts and assorted presentations and panel discussions October 30 through November 2 at the Sheraton Gateway on Century Boulevard, near LAX.

In fact, though the terms have sometimes been used synonymously, 'West Coast Cool' is but one of four 'major strains' of Cool Jazz in this event, the others being Woody Herman and the Four Brothers, Lennie Tristano and his disciples, and the 'Birth of the Cool' recordings.

And of course, Herman and Tristano—and Miles—are far from the only jazz virtuosos included in those genres. There are panels and concerts celebrating the sounds of a virtual 'Hall of Cool': Lester Young, Stan Getz, Dave Brubeck, Bill Evans, Shorty Rogers, Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Gerry Mulligan, Ted Brown, Warne Marsh, Lee Konitz, Tadd Dameron, June Christy, and Bobby Troup.

The festival kicks off with a unique tribute concert featuring saxophonist Ken Peplowski paired with a screening of a landmark jazz film about Lester Young's band, Jammin' the Blues, at the Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, where the film was shot in 1944.

For more information or tickets to 'Something Cool,' click here.

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