West Coast Cool

 

 

West Coast Cool Music was low key, undramatic, rich in orchestral sounds and more akin to European impressionists than Ellington or Henderson. Moderate tempos and volume, tranquility, introspective and pensive.

Growing out of Lester Young's cool melodies. Gone were the four square dancing rhythms. 3/4 and other time signatures emerge and section lengths become irregular.

Chronology there were perhaps at least two reactions to Bop. One was the Dixieland Revival and the other West Coast 'cool'.

The fever of Bop produced an intellectual reaction in mainly thoughtful whites, some in the Dixieland revival went back to the roots in New Orleans but others moved to more classical European orthodoxy. Cool and orderly.

But as Dizzy said, 'There's no guts in that music'! And around 1950 Art Blakey struggled on the East Coast to get back to the funky gospel rhythms of the jazz roots.

Stan Kenton (1911-79) in 194? a new big band trend was afoot. This trend was called Progressive. Its chief proponents were Stan Kenton, Boyd Raeburn and Earle Spencer. This trend eventually influenced what will become Cool Jazz. ... 'Artistry in Rhythm' was based on Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe. A trend to more complex arrangements began.

Gil Evans (1912-88) out of Claude Thornhill, moved in the same direction and took miles davis with him.

The Europe influence peaked with 'The Birth of the Cool' and the written arrangements of Gil Evans and Gerry Mulligan.

Woody Herman (1913-87) and his Thundering Herds started with the blues and swing but he also went cool and introduced classical devices from Stravinsky.

Dave Brubeck (1920-2012) moved on from the Wolfpack and studies before creating waves with new time with Paul Desmond.

'composers have all year to think about the next note, we have decide in a second ... Jazz was never classical music and never the twain shall meet'.

Brubeck could go toe to toe with classical music but ... why should he? ... it wasn't a competition... there was plenty of room for both?

Andre Prévin underlined the point in 1956 with a superb jazz piano album, 'My Fair Lady' ...

John Lewis (1920-2001) earned the respect of everybody with the Modern Jazz Quartet.  John Lewis with Milt Jackson, contrasted the frenetic hot sound of Parker, and tried to keep jazz cool and in the dignified atmosphere of the Concert Hall. 'Django' 1960.

Gerry Mulligan (1927-96)
After 'The Birth of the Cool' recordings of 1949 Gerry Mulligan moved to California and plays distinctive 'cool' jazz.
1952 'Gerry Mulligan Quartet' - Chet Baker at 'The Hague' LA.

Stan Getz (1927-91) was one of the famous 4 brothers with Woody Herman. 'The Steamer' 1956 and Getz also imported the Bossa Nova rhythms from Brazil, 'Desafinado' 19?? ... 

West Coast - Shelly Mann, Shorty Rogers, Lee Konitz ...

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