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100 Years of Jazz - Disc 07: Cool Jazz - West Coast (1999)

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100 Years of Jazz - Disc 07: Cool Jazz - West Coast (1999)

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1. Claude Thornhill & His Orchestra – Yardbird Suite (03:22)
2. The Miles Davis Nonet – Jeru (03:11)
3. Lennie Tristano Trio – Supersonic (03:19)
4. Lennie Tristano Sextet – Wow (03:20)
5. Lennie Tristano Quartet – Yesterdays (02:47)
6. Boyd Raeburn & His Orchestra – Boyd Meets Stravinsky (02:54)
7. Stan Kenton and His Orchestra – Artistry in Rhythm (03:21)
8. Woody Herman & His Orchestra – Early Autumn (03:13)
9. Woody Herman's Second Herd – Four Brothers (03:14)
10. Buddy DeFranco & His Orchestra – A Bird in Igor's Yard (02:54)
11. Gerry Mulligan Quartet – Festive Minor (06:00)
12. The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Three to Get Ready (05:44)
13. The Modern Jazz Quartet – Django (04:45)
14. Herb Ellis & Joe Pass – Joe's Blues (03:27)
15. Lee Konitz Orchestra – My Own Best Friend (03:55)
16. Phil Woods Quartet – Out of Nowhere (08:04)
17. Sonny Stitt Quartet – Streamline Stanley (04:13)

 

Cool jazz arose slowly in the late 40s when many jazz musicians realised there was no point in following in the fast paced be-bop footsteps of Diz and Bird and began to try a more relaxed and quieter approach to playing. Early examples of cool jazz came from Miles Davis' Nonet and Lenny Tristano's group, while later practitioners like Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker showed up on the west coast where cool jazz was often referred to as west coast jazz.

Many cool jazz saxophonists looked to the pre-bop languid sax style of Lester Young for inspiration. Also, 3rd Stream influenced arrangements that featured Baroque style counterpoint became popular during the cool era. One lasting innovation of the cool genre is the idea of concert hall influenced 'chamber jazz' as pioneered by The Modern Jazz Quartet. For some critics, west coast jazz seemed like a souless sell-out compared to the more challenging and urban flavored be-bop of New York City. In 1952 Miles Davis was one of the first 'cool' band leaders to lead the way to a more aggressive next phase in jazz, hard bop.

Cool jazz began to fade before the arrival of fusion and never made a comeback afterwards. Today Cool Jazz is a retro style that defines a certain time and place in jazz history, but is still played by some. ---jazzmusicarchives.com

 

An occasional nickname for cool since some of the key pacesetters were centered in Los Angeles, West Coast Jazz evolved directly from bop in the late '40s and '50s. Essentially, it was a mixture of bop with certain aspects of swing that had been overlooked or temporarily discarded. Dissonances were smoothed out, tones were softened, arrangements became important again, and the rhythm section's accents were less jarring. Some of the recordings were experimental in nature (hinting at classical music) and some overarranged sessions were bland, but in general this was a viable and popular style. Among the many top artists were Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, Shorty Rogers, and Howard Rumsey (leader of the Lighthouse All-Stars). ---allmusic.com

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