Stu Williamson (tp, v-tb), Bob Enevoldsen (v-tb, ts, b-cl), Bob Cooper (ts), Bud Shank (as, ts, bs), Jimmy Giuffre (cl, ts, bs), John Graas (Frh), Howard Roberts (g), Claude Williamson (p), Joe Mondragon, Curtis Counce, Max Bennett (b), Shelly Manne (d)
Reference: FSRCD 2239
Bar code: 8427328622394
When Bob Cooper (1925-1993) made his record debut as a leader in 1954, he was already well known for his solo work on tenor sax with Stan Kenton. He was articulate and original in both writing and playing. Cooper and his associates take us here through a wide range of musical adventures, from a slow subtle ballad, to clever contrapuntal invention, to swinging dynamic improvisation. All the arrangements and four of the compositions are by Coopers own pen. These recordings feature some of his most swinging, best-sounding tenor on record. Here are winds blowing out of the west, carrying the sound of Jazz, zesty as a salt breeze off the California beach, kaleidoscopic, like spindrift.
"This generous English import LP has five Capitol sessions from 1954 (18 selections in all) that are led by either Bob Cooper or Bill Holman. The cool-toned but hard-driving tenor Coop is heard on his first two dates as a leader, jamming through standards and swinging originals with Bud Shank (who surprisingly sticks here exclusively to baritone), pianist Claude Williamson, guitarist Howard Roberts, either Joe Mondragon or Curtis Counce on bass and Shelly Manne or Stan Levey on drums. The remainder of this album features ten compositions by Bill Holman who not only wrote for the octet but takes some fine tenor solos. His sidemen include Don Fagerquist or Nick Travis and Stu Williamson on trumpets, valve trombonist Bob Enevoldsen, altoist Herb Geller, baritonist Bob Gordon, Curtis Counce or Max Bennett on bass and drummer Stan Levey. The generally exciting music shows that the stereotype of most West Coast jazz as bloodless was quite inaccurate. Well worth searching for."
Scott Yanow -All Music Guide
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