Documenting and Promoting West Coast Jazz with the rising stars of today.
Where educators, mentors, artists and public meet to enjoy West-Coast-inspired music, art and wines.
West Coast jazz (WCJ) developed in Los Angeles and San Francisco during the 1950s with iconic musicians and American ambassadors influencing its direction: Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, Ornette Coleman, Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Stan Kenton, Bill Evans, Bud Shank, Clare Fischer, Cal Tjader, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck.
The music relies relatively more on composition and arrangement than on the individually improvised playing.
The sound is identified by the use of counterpoint, the emphasis on relaxed tempos, the restrained drum sound, the experimentation with different combinations of instruments, the heavy reliance on composition structures, the openness to new sounds are all its trademarks.
Among the notable musicians of the last five decades who have contributed to the WCJ movement are: Henry Mancini, Lalo Schifrin, Stevie Wonder, Joe Henderson, Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, Herb Alpert (founder of A&M Records), George Duke, Sheila E, Gregg Field, Poncho Sanchez, Chic Corea, David Benoit, Dave Koz (Rendez Vous Records), Billy Vera, Danny Elfman, Mark Isham, and Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar (To Pimp a Butterfly), Kamasi Washington (The Epic and West Coast Get Down), bassist Thundercat, producer and Brainfeeder Records founder,
Flying Lotus (Steven Ellison) , composer/performer Terrace Martin, SF Jazz Collective, Terence Blanchard ( Berklee Global Jazz Institute, Spike Lee), and Robert Glasper, to name a few. Father and son duo Clare and Brent Fischer began working with giant pop stars like Michael Jackson, Prince, Usher, D'Angelo injecting timeless orchestration into R&B and pop repertoire and award-winning recordings ( 2016 Grammy® Record of The Year for D'Angelo's "Really Love" from his album "Black Messiah"). Brent's big band arrangement aesthetic of popular classic Pictures At An Exhibition by Mussorgsky is worth a mention.
" ....we presumably imagine modern art when strolling through the imaginary exhibition with a Big Band today."
West Coast Jazz has its fingerprint in Hollywood Films, TV and today's popular music -- Funk, Latin Jazz, New Age, Pop, Hip-Hop, EDM. Its unique sound continues to evolve with a new generation of artists reflecting California's diverse landscape and communities.
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"Exciting younger artists with grand ambitions are revitalizing the idiom; a robust support structure, from festivals to conservatories, is providing stability and a future-oriented confidence ...the third great wave of West Coast jazz. "
2018 Related Article by Ted Gioia
The Revival of West Coast Jazz
Enjoy celebrated Cali Wines and Relish art and music by rising photographers and musicians of the jazz scene today!
Featuring Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles, Malibu wineries
What do Andy Warhol and Peter Max have in common? Yes, they did artwork for
jazz album covers. Many jazz labels and their designers cultivated a particular look for their albums, whether it be Reid Miles’ cool graphics and typography for Blue Note in the ’50s, photographer Lee Friedlander’s distinctive portraits for Atlantic in the ’60s to the aesthetic that Barbara Wojirsch has developed with ECM for much of the last five decades.
The Moods of Chet & Claxton
PACIFIC JAZZ was started in 1952 in Los Angeles by Richard Bock. It was the very first release, a 10" LP, that really kicked off the new jazz label. The cover is shown on top to the right: Gerry Mulligan Quartet with Chet Baker became a worldwide success.
The recording took place in the summer of 1952. A month before, Mulligan had opened at The Haig Club in Los Angeles. The sounds from The Haig were far from the blowing sessions on Central Avenue in the same town. It was lyrical but swinging at low decibel level. It came to be labeled as "cool" or West Coast Jazz. Enjoy Pacific Jazz album art here
"Blue Note captured the refined sophistication of jazz during the early 60s, giving it its signature look in the process, writes Estelle Caswell for Vox. When asked to visualize what jazz looks like, you might picture bold typography, two tone photography, and minimal graphic design. If you did, you’re recalling the work of a jazz label that single-handedly defined the “look” of jazz music in the 1950s and1960s: Blue Note. Inspired by the ever present Swiss lettering style that defined 20th century graphic design (think Paul Rand), Blue Note captured the refined sophistication of jazz during the early 60s, particularly during the hard bop era, and gave it a definitive visual identity through album covers," says Estelle Caswell who takes us on a musical journey to discover the stories behind your favorite songs. Check out the entire Vox Earworm playlist here: http://bit.ly/2QCwhMH Watch full video catalog: http://goo.gl/IZONyE
UCLA, LACMA, Vibrato, Grammy Museum