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liontime View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05 Aug 2016 at 1:42pm
I've seen the term "West Coast Jazz" floating around in various jazz publications and forums but I've never been able to fully define what style this term is describing. It's my understanding that the term is largely a marketing tactic meant to put a spin on cheesy/sleazy cool jazz that was recorded in California. The Pacific Jazz record label seems to be associated with this term as do certain Chet Baker recordings. Does anyone have any thoughts on this or any albums they feel exemplify "West Coast Jazz?"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2016 at 1:44pm
Hi, me again. Wink

I love much of 50s and 60s West coast jazz, and there is so much more to it than just cliche 'cool jazz'. This is the short answer, but I will be dropping off more posts in a minute.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2016 at 1:50pm
The west coast tended be a little more experimental and open minded in general. Asian music, especially Ragas, were a source of curiosity for west coast musicians. They were also fond of 3rd stream mixes and arrangements.

A musician that typified the best in west coast jazz to me was Chico Hamilton, his music was way ahead of its time. Of course there is Eric Dolphy and Charles Mingus too.

By the way, many of those Pacific Jazz label comps are excellent.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote liontime Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2016 at 2:09pm
Hi again!!

Thanks for your definition, I didn't know about the ragas and experimentation being a part of West Coast Jazz! (Does this include something like Eastern Sounds?). The 3rd stream arrangements make sense and I am truly fond of that style. However MJQ and Brubeck wouldn't be considered West Coast Jazz, right?

I believe we've spoken about Chico Hamilton in the past and I'm a big fan of his "The Dealer" album. Is that too late in his career or is that album typical of the west coast sound? I would have imagined west coast jazz to be a much more cool style than The Dealer. Should I venture earlier in his discography?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote liontime Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2016 at 2:19pm
Another Chico Hamilton album I have and love is El Exigente - The Demanding One which I wouldn't classify as West Coast Jazz as there's a scorching electric saxophone but what do I know....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2016 at 2:28pm
^ both of those Hamilton albums are from his fusion years, great albums too. For his more west coast sound, go for the 50s and up to the early or mid 60s.
The west coast lost much of its distinctive sound during the fusion years, and it never really returned.

MJQ is considered cool jazz and 3rd stream jazz, but I thought they were east coast, maybe not.

Brubeck gets lumped in with the cool jazz, but his music is sort of his own thing, his sax player, forget his name, was very much of the cool school. I also forget which coast Brubeck is from.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote liontime Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2016 at 2:46pm
Thank you, I will dig deeper into Chico Hamilton's discography!

MJQ is New York, but Brubeck was San Francisco. I'm just wondering how one would differentiate east coast third stream music from west coast jazz without looking up where they were from. Am I missing the point?

And I've read that Chet Baker records made after his dentures incident are considered to be west coast jazz. Do you know anything about that or did I make that up?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2016 at 3:23pm
Many people consider Chet Baker to be the essence of cool jazz, and yes, cool jazz is a big part of west coast jazz.

I don't know if there is a distinction between west and east coast 3rd stream music, there was just more 3rd stream type experimentation in west coast jazz.

In the 50s-60s jazz world in general, we tend to think of the west coast as cool, and the east coast as hard bop, but of course there are plenty of exceptions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote liontime Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2016 at 3:36pm
Oh, I think I'm concentrating on the wrong things here

I'll listen to that early Chico Hamilton and I'm sure I'll be very pleased with what I find. Do you have any personal Chet Baker favorites?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2016 at 3:54pm
I don't have a Baker favorite, but I would imagine his best work went down in the late 50s.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote liontime Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2016 at 4:06pm
Just wanted to follow up, I acquired a Chico Hamilton Quintet self titled album from 1957 and it's superb. Very grateful for the recommendation. Most interesting was hearing Fred Katz on cello. Have you ever checked out Katz's solo work or do you know any other interesting cello small group bands?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2016 at 4:53pm
Chico Hamilton is one of the most under-rated and overlooked musicians in jazz. What he was doing in the 50s and 60s is what musicians are doing today.

Mingus' "Jazzical Moods", which is an overlooked 3rd Stream gem from early in his career, features a prominent cello player.

Erik Dolphy's "Out There" has Ron Carter on cello.

Dolphy, Mingus and Hamilton were all influences on each other.

The cello is popular in modern jazz these days, as well as people bowing the bass in the high cello range. I thought Dave Douglas and the Claudia Quintet were using cello, but its mostly arco bass in the high range.
Henry Threadgill uses cello a lot, his recent music is more like modern concert hall music than jazz, but quite good if you like that sort of thing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote liontime Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 2016 at 9:38am
I didn't realize there was cello on Out There, I haven't ventured much from Out to Lunch. Jazzical Moods seems like it'll be great thank you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Natara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2017 at 8:32am
Originally posted by liontime liontime wrote:

Oh, I think I'm concentrating on the wrong things here

I'll listen to that early Chico Hamilton and I'm sure I'll be very pleased with what I find. Do you have any personal Chet Baker favorites?

Hi this is my first post and I'm hardly an expert but I am a fan of Chet Baker and IMO his best work came in the late 70's early 80's check out some of his release on Danish SteepleChase label, 'The Touch of Your Lips," "Diane" and "No Problem" are all excellent give yourself a treat and have a listen they have all been reissued on vinyl recently.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Natara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2017 at 8:46am
Also if you are into a more laid back sound as I am check out Gene Ammons - The Mellow Moods of or Nice and Cool both excellent or Ike Quebec - Blue & Sentimental is another the Music Matters release of the later and The Analogue Productions releases of the Gene Ammons are exceptional reissues IMO.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2017 at 9:00am
Originally posted by Natara Natara wrote:

Originally posted by liontime liontime wrote:

Oh, I think I'm concentrating on the wrong things here

I'll listen to that early Chico Hamilton and I'm sure I'll be very pleased with what I find. Do you have any personal Chet Baker favorites?

Hi this is my first post and I'm hardly an expert but I am a fan of Chet Baker and IMO his best work came in the late 70's early 80's check out some of his release on Danish SteepleChase label, 'The Touch of Your Lips," "Diane" and "No Problem" are all excellent give yourself a treat and have a listen they have all been reissued on vinyl recently.
I also like Chet's early music when there was a bit of bebop flavor to what he was doing.
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