Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
One of the best West Coast jazz albums available
James A. Vedda | Alexandria, VA USA | 07/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Several vintage 1950s/60s re-releases are available from composer, arranger, and trumpeter Shorty Rogers. I have seven of them, and this one is my favorite. It combines two albums, including eight tracks from 1953 (Cool and Crazy) and four from 1956 (The Big Shorty Rogers Express), all of them composed and arranged by Shorty. These were studio sessions, so the recording quality is very good.
Shorty's writing ranged from small group to big band (including work for Woody Herman and Stan Kenton), and after 1962 he made a good living from TV and movie scores. This collection is all big band with some added instrumentation: french horn, tuba, and an extra trumpet. A special treat is the inclusion of Maynard Ferguson in the trumpet section, so you can imagine some of the exciting things going on in the ensemble shout choruses! Other noteworthy players on these sessions: Harry Edison and Pete & Conte Candoli on trumpets; Milt Bernhart and Frank Rosolino on trombone; Art Pepper, Bud Shank, Bob Cooper, Bill Holman, and Jimmy Giuffre on saxes; Lou Levy on piano; Shelly Manne on drums.
Shorty's writing captures the essence of West Coast jazz of that era, in everything from ballads to Latin to up-tempo swing. His flair for the unusual is evident is some of the scoring as well as in some of the titles. One tune features a duet pairing tenor sax and french horn; another introduces the melody with three baritone saxes and tuba. Among the quirky titles are "Infinity Promenade," "Tale of an African Lobster," "The Sweetheart of Sigmund Freud," and "Pink Squirrel." But it's all great straight-ahead jazz, well written and well performed.
As of this writing, only one copy of this CD is available here, from a third-party vendor at a fairly high price. If you collect jazz of this era, pick it up while you still can. This music deserves wider recognition, so I hope more copies will eventually be available here at a more competitive price."