Album Details

February 05, 2008
Jazz, Big Band, West Coast Jazz, Trumpet Jazz, Jazz Instrument

Album Review

Great Britain's JSP imprint does its usual exhaustive job on this five-disc set by trumpeter, composer, and arranger Shorty Rogers. These discs contain material that dates back to the period Rogers spent with Woody Herman's Woodchoppers and Red Norvo's Octet in 1946 and 1947, through his own dates with the Giants in 1954 (in both original and augmented incarnations), with all kinds of stops in between. Certainly it's true that Rogers collectors may have most if not all of this material, but not arranged and presented in this way -- session notes are intact, as are credits, but as is the norm with JSP, liner notes are somewhat scant. The Herman years are all detailed on disc one, as well as the beginning of Rogers' years with Stan Kenton and Maynard Ferguson. The lineups in all of these bands are most impressive -- a virtual who's who of greats from the West and East Coasts alike, including Serge Chaloff, Billy Bauer, Jimmy Rowles, Ernie Royal, Terry Gibbs, Lou Levy, Don Lamond, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, etc. Rogers led his own big band during the time spent between Herman and Kenton, with Art Pepper, Bud Shank, Shelly Manne, and June Christy, to name a few -- a real West Coast all-star configuration in 1950. In the time he spent with Kenton and Ferguson, Rogers also led the first version of the Giants, featuring Pepper, Hampton Hawes, Gene Englund, Jimmy Giuffre, Manne, and others, in 1951. Other stints as a soloist and arranger with Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars in 1951 and 1952 were the bread ends of a sandwich that included the period Rogers played with Louie Bellson, in a band that also included Juan Tizol, Harry Carney, Billy Strayhorn, and Wardell Gray. The 1951 and 1952 years make up almost all of disc two, with another rendition of the Giants filling it out at the beginning of 1953. Discs three and four are all Shorty between 1953 and 1954. Some of the players in his employ during those years included Joe Mondragon, Bob Cooper, Curtis Counce, Herb Geller, Herbie Harper, Bill Holman, and Joe Flores, as well as many of the aforementioned players like Ferguson, Pepper, Hawes, Giuffre, Manne, and Shank. One of the more notable aspects of the 1954 Giants was the addition of a young pianist named André Previn on some sides, with a front line of horns that included Giuffre, Shank, and Cooper on saxophones; guitarist Al Hendrickson; and a rhythm section with Joe Mondragon and Manne. The final 12 tunes, on the fifth disc here, are with different editions of the Giants, including (as previously mentioned) the augmented Giants -- this band included Lennie Niehaus, Sims, pianist Pete Jolly, and guitarist Barney Kessel, to name a few. There are 96 cuts here, all of them remastered in fine if not pristine sound, but the price is certainly right.
Thom Jurek, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Igor
  2. Bop
  3. Keen and Preachy
  4. Lemon Drop
  5. Keeper of the Flame
  6. More Moon
  7. The Great Life
  8. Tenderly
  9. Lollipop
  10. A Mile Down the Highway
  11. He Can Come Back Anytime
  12. Do It Again
  13. Jolly Roger
  14. Art Pepper
  15. Viva Prado
  16. Round Robin
  17. Short Wave
  18. Four Mothers
  19. Didi
  20. Sam and the Lady
  21. Popo
  22. Over the Rainbow
  23. Apropos
  24. Popo
  25. What's New
  26. Lullaby in Rhythm
  27. All the Things You Are
  28. Robbins Nest
  29. Scrapple From the Apple
  30. Body and Soul
  31. Jive at Five
  32. Tin Tin Deo
  33. Cherokee
  34. Punkin'
  35. Swing Shift
  36. Block Buster
  37. Dynamite
  38. Pirouette
  39. Bunny
  40. Powder Puff
  41. The Pesky Serpent
  42. Diablo's Dance
  43. Indian Club
  44. Morpo
  45. Mambo del Crow
  46. Coop de Graas
  47. Infinity Promenade
  48. Short Step
  49. Boar-Jibu
  50. Contours
  51. Tale of an American Lobster
  52. Chiquito Loco
  53. The Sweetheart of Sigmund Freud
  54. Infinity Promenade
  55. Short Stop
  56. Buzzy
  57. Hot Blood (The Wild One)
  58. Blues For Brando
  59. Windswept
  60. Chino
  61. Topsy
  62. It's Sand, Man
  63. Basie Eyes
  64. Doggin' Around
  65. Jump For Me
  66. Over and Out
  67. Down For Double
  68. Swingin' the Blues
  69. H & J
  70. Tickletoe
  71. Taps Miller
  72. Walk Don't Run
  73. Just a Few
  74. Heatwave
  75. Everything I've Got Belongs to You
  76. You Stepped Out of a Dream
  77. It Only Happens When I Dance With You
  78. General Cluster
  79. Some Antics
  80. Claudia
  81. 40 Degrees Below
  82. Jocycle
  83. The Lade Is a Tramp
  84. The Goof and I
  85. My Little Suede Shoes
  86. Cool Sunshine
  87. Loki
  88. Elaine's Lullaby
  89. It's Delovely
  90. Call For Cole
  91. You Do Something to Me
  92. Porterhouse
  93. Lullaby of Birdland