Mid-Century Jazz: Listen to the Cool - Page 6

Uprising at the dawn of mid-century modern—California's 'cool school' of West Coast jazz


14. Laurindo Almeida and Bud Shank: Brazilliance, vol. 1 (World Pacific) A formerly featured guitarist in Brazil, Almeida moved to L.A., and with this and later recordings (helped by alto saxist Shank) introduced a cool, jazz-wise approach to his native land's music, nearly a decade ahead of but never as celebrated as Stan Getz.


15. Bill Perkins: Octet on Stage (Pacific Jazz) A multi-saxist best known for his tenor work, Perkins was among the Stan Kenton big band alumni to gather at the Lighthouse and to reap the rewards of studio and TV work in L.A. His adventuresome but agreeable approach here continues today.

Conte Candoli: Modern Sounds from the West

16. Conte Candoli: Modern Sounds from the West (Lonehill Jazz) The 'sounds' of Candoli's trumpet confirm the possibility of Bop virtuosity within a cooler West Coast setting. Among other Kenton alumni, Candoli was in evidence at the Lighthouse and in his trumpeting brother Pete's band.


17. John Lewis: Grand Encounter/2 Degrees East-3 Degrees West (Pacific Jazz import) While anchoring the early years of the cooly elegant Modern Jazz Quartet, pianist Lewis and the MJQ's bassist Percy Heath here shared their approach with guitarist Jim Hall and drummer Chico Hamilton on standards and originals.


18. Claude Williamson: Complete 1956 Studio Session (Fresh Sound) Not widely known now, Williamson was a favorite at the Lighthouse and when teamed with Bud Shank. Despite this Cool company, Williamson was (and remains) a self-declared devotee of the legendary Bud Powell's approach to Bop piano.


19. Duane Tatro: Jazz for Moderns (Contemporary/OJC) Some of the L.A.-based jazz luminaries whom Duane Tatro had likely employed for his film and TV scoring were assembled for this rather dense and experimental-sounding recording which stretches beyond the common concepts of 'cool' and 'jazz.'

jazz box

20. Various Artists: West Coast Jazz Box (Contemporary) This four-disc set, better than any other compilation chronicles the evolution and variegation of the genre it's named for. Robert Gordon's liner notes and the faultless documentation of the selected tracks are admiringly informative.

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