Early this year I had the privilege of writing notes for Forrest Westbrook’s only album as a leader. The CD was released five-and-a-half decades after it was recorded and two years after the pianist’s death at 86. The album is bringing overdue notice to Westbrook, a quiet, almost secretive figure in the southern California jazz movement of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Standard journalism practice is for a writer never to promote a project in which he has been involved. So, report me to the Journalism Police, but it’s important that serious listeners know about Westbrook’s work. Therefore, my clever surreptitious ploy is to let fellow blogger Marc Myers carry the ball. With his customary accuracy, Marc describes Westbrook as remarkable. To see his coverage of the pianist’s album, go to his JazzWax blog.
For a Rifftides review of the late trumpeter Carmell Jones’s recently discovered album featuring Westbrook, go here.