Archive for the ‘Cool Jazz’ Category

Miles Davis..and his Sextet

August 8, 2009 Leave a comment

Miles Davis disbanded his quintet in 57 and played at “The Cafe Bohemia” with Sonny Rollins and Art Taylor, He went to France and recorded the soundtrack to Louis Malle’s  Ascenseur pour l’échafaud. Returning to New York in December 1957 Miles recruited Julian “Cannonball” Adderley and reformed his quintet into a sextet. January 58 the group appears at “Birdland” and The Continental. Febuary 1958 they record the first half of Milestones and in March they finish the second half. The album is a great bebop and blues set but the namesake piece “Milestones” was a “Modal” masterpiece that set the stage for the historic Kind of Blue album. March 9th. Miles and Cannonball Adderley record Something Else. March – April Red Garland is fired as pianest and replaced by Bill Evans. From April thru May the group is back at “The Cafe Bohemia” Closing May 18th. Philly Joe Jones quits the group and Jimmy Cobb is hired. May 26, 1958  The Miles Davis Sextet records their half of the Jazz Track album. July 3, 1958  The Miles Davis Sextet records at the Newport Jazz Festival, released in 1964 as Miles and Monk at Newport. July – August, 1968  The group opens at the Village Vanguard for two weeks, and records Porgy and Bess. November, 1958  Bill Evans leaves the band and is replaced by Red Garland.. January 1, 1959  The Sextet (with Wynton Kelly on piano) begins a two-week stand at Birdland. March 2, 1959  The Sextet records the first half of “Kind Of Blue” and finish the second half on April 22nd, 1959. Kind of Blue is an album owned by people who don’t listen to Jazz, a sound of something entirely different from what the jazz world had known from before. A group of 6 jazz artist that came together it seems right at the exact moment to create a music for the world and future generations to enjoy. Timeless music here.

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Paul Desmond…”The Sound of the Dry Martini”

July 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Paul Desmond (November 25, 1924 – May 30, 1977) was a jazz saxophonist and composer. He came to prominence with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, which lasted from 1951 until 1967. Desmond was the definitive “cool” alto saxophonist, with a style that slightly bore some resemblance to that of Stan Getz, except Desmond liked to milk the high notes more.   He indulged in counter-melodies with Brubeck (who played piano) and played witty, yet logical solos that really drove the Brubeck quartet.  He rarely played solos in double-time, preferring a cool, laid-back setting, but his solos contained surprising twists.  He is probably best known for his classic solo on his composition “Take Five.”

Paul Desmond was widely quoted as saying that he wanted his saxophone to sound like a dry martini. That quote could apply to the man himself: he was urbane, witty, sophisticated, and the music he made was intoxicating

Paul Desmond Quotes:

  •  I could only write at the beach, and I kept getting sand in my typewriter.
  • His reason for not pursuing a literary career
  • I hate the way he writes. I kind of love the way he lives, though.
    • On writer Jack Kerouac
  • I have won several prizes as the world’s slowest alto player, as well as a special award in 1961 for quietness.
  • I think I had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to sound like a dry martini.
    • About his distinctive light sound
  • I tried practicing for a few weeks and ended up playing too fast.
    • About the value of practice
  • I was unfashionable before anyone knew who I was.
    • About his playing style
  • It’s like living in a house where everything’s painted red.
    • On Ornette Coleman’s playing
  • Not for me. If I want to tune everybody out, I just take off my glasses and enjoy the haze.
    • On contact lenses
  • Sometimes I get the feeling that there are orgies going on all over New York City, and somebody says, `Let’s call Desmond,’ and somebody else says,’Why bother? He’s probably home reading the Encyclopedia Britannica.’
  • Well, that I’m not playing better.
    • When asked by Gene Lees what accounted for the melancholy in his playing
  • Writing is like jazz. It can be learned, but it can’t be taught.
Paul Desmond

Paul Desmond

Paul Desmond Gerry Mulligan

Paul Desmond Gerry Mulligan

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Cool Jazz Found!!!

July 7, 2009 Leave a comment

Gil MelleGill Melle Quartet, Gill’s Guest album is unusual and a bit rare but is a find.

Harold Rumsey’s Lighthouse Allstars Harold Rumseys Light House Allstars A Live set from Hermosa Beach in 1953. Classic Cool Jazz!!

 Shorty Rogers The Fourth Dimension In Sound is laid back 60’s “Mancini” style   Jazz, great for an afternoon.

SR 2

 Cool Jazz Link

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Stan Getz…the 60’s

May 28, 2009 1 comment
Stan Getz’s returned from his European hiatus in the early 60’s and a collaboration with composer / arranger Eddie Sauter was in Stan’s own opinion “the most important recording of my life”. Focus a suite of string compositions including some members of the famous Beaux-Arts Quartet released in 1961. Soon Stan met Charlie Byrd after a Washington D.C. gig and Charlie took him home to listen to some tapes he had collected while touring Latin America, music that was of a jazz/samba mix called Bossa Nova, Charlie Byrd was intrigued with this style of music but couldn’t find anyone who was interested in recording it. Stan contacted Creed Taylor and set up a recording session in the which Charlie Byrd told Stan about “All Souls Unitarian Church” in Washington D.C. and it’s great acoustics.On Feb. 13th 1962 Creed flew down from New York and the album Jazz Samba was put down on tape. In August Stan was surprised at how well “Jazz Samba” was received, out selling his” Focus” album and by September of 62 it made the Pop Charts. Two weeks later Desafinado was recorded and the last weeks of 1962 saw a nation wide “Bossa Nova” Craze with Stan on top in the Downbeat Poll.


Jazz Samba

Jazz Samba

March 18th 1963 Getz/Gilberto was recorded and a year later released on the Verve label. June 64 saw it climbing the charts and in July it was #5 on the pop charts. Getz/Gilbertowon Grammys “Album of the year” in 65, with “The Girl From Ipanema” the single of the year.



Cool Jazz

April 9, 2009 1 comment

The first recording of this style of jazz was The Birth of the Cool a 1950 Blue Note album by Miles Davis. Despite the top billing this album was a collaborative effort with many players and arrangers of the period, Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan, Gil Evans, Lee Konitz, John Lewis, and Gunther Schuller. At the time it was felt that Miles was the best player to represent this new style. This style came about as West Coast (California) players infiltrated the Bop players and the birth-of-the-cool1New York jazz scene. Gil Evans and Gerry Mulligan both working with the Claude Thornhill Orchestra developed a softer sound and more intricate arrangements. This new style arriving shortly after Bebop had begun to establish itself, was immediately unpopular. This COOL style slowly gained popularity and was later known as West Coast Jazz. Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue album is the best selling jazz album of all time and is the masterpiece of COOL JAZZ.  kind-of-blue

Miles Davis,  Gerry Mulligan, Dave Brubeck, Lee Konitz, Stan Getz and Chet Baker are but a few of the  COOL JAZZ artist to discover.