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Lighthouse Cafe, Hermosa Beach

Lighthouse Cafe, Hermosa Beach

While doing some research into the Cool jazz scene of the 50’s I ran across some interesting information into one of the hottest clubs on the Westcoast. A place where “Cool Jazz” was born,  The Lighthouse Cafe  located at 30 Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach, California. Photo Link, Harold Rumsey  who spent some time playing with Stan Kenton formed a house band there called Harold Rumsey’s Lighthouse Allstars, consisting of Several groups that included  Bob Cooper (Coop) on tenor sax, Bud Shank on alto, Claude Williamson piano, Conte Candoli trumpet, and Stan Levey drums. West Coast stars such as Shelly Manne, Shorty Rogers, Ritchie Kamuca, and Jimmy Giuffre were regulars in the early days. His group became an overnight sensation drawing in a “Who’s Who of visiting jazz talent, Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker. It also became an important venue for recordings; Art Pepper, Lee Morgan, Cannonball Adderley, Don Ellis, Mose Allison, Ramsey Lewis, the Modern Jazz Quartet, The Three Sounds, the Jazz Crusaders, and Joe Henderson all made recordings there. The Lighthouse sponsored an inter-collegiate jazz festival late in the 1950s, and the competition’s winners included Mike Melvoin and Les McCann. The club still exist under the same name, but has changed it’s jazz only policy and you can hear jazz played on Thursdays and Sundays.

The Lighthouse Cafe 1950's

The Lighthouse Cafe 1950's

 The Lighthouse Jazz History

Selected discography of Howard Rumsey’s Lighthouse All-Stars.

  • Sunday Jazz a la Lighthouse, 1953, Contemporary.
  • Howard Rumsey’s Lighthouse All-Stars, 1953, Contemporary.
  • In The Solo Spotlight, 1954-57, Contemporary.
  • Music For Lighthousekeeping, 1956, Contemporary.
  • Double Or Nothin’, 1957, Fresh Sounds.

A place rich in West Coast Jazz history.

The Lighthouse Cafe

The Lighthouse Cafe

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