The current offering on Steve Cerra’s Jazz Profiles web log is part one of an extensive examination of the career and music of alto saxophonist Bud Shank. It incorporates most of the contents of the booklet I wrote for the Mosaic Records boxed set The Pacific Jazz Bud Shank Studio Sessions (1956-1961), long out of print. As he always does, Steve includes personal recollections and lots of photographs. Here is a short excerpt from the Mosaic notes, Shank talking about west coast jazz.
“I don’t even know what the hell west coast jazz is,” he said, with
exasperation and no wry laugh. “It was something different from what they were doing in New York, so the critics called it west coast jazz. That Miles Davis BIRTH OF THE COOL album, out of New York, probably started west coast jazz. It was also very organized, predetermined, written. It was a little bit more intellectual, shall I say, than had happened before. Jimmy Giuffre, Buddy Childers, Shorty, Shelly Manne, Marty Paich, Bob
Cooper, almost everybody involved; we all came from somewhere else, New York, Texas, Chicago, Ohio. The fact that we were in L.A. around the orange trees had nothing to do with it. I really think that everybody played the way they would have played no matter where they were. New York writers, they’re the ones who invented west coast jazz.”
“Those bastards,” I said.
“Those bastards,” he said, laughing uproariously.