Bud Shank & Bob Cooper: Mosaic Select 10: Bud Shank & Bob Cooper (2004)
One is no longer with us and the other still serves as a vital bop-inflected saxophonist, but for a short period of time in the late '50s, Bob Cooper and Bud Shank joined forces with producer Richard Bock on a series of fine Pacific Jazz sessions that, while not widely known even at the time, will get some much needed exposure due to a new compilation presented by Mosaic. The two had spent time together in the bands of Stan Kenton and Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars and each was a multi-instrumentalist capable of playing a number of woodwind instruments. As a result, a disparate set of moods and feels accompanies the sessions that make up the music included on this three-disc set.
The first of the sessions appearing here actually doesn't involve Cooper as a player, but finds him acting in the capacity of an arranger. Shank's alto rides over top a West Coast rhythm section that includes Shelly Manne and a four-piece trombone ensemble. These sides were issued on a 10-inch LP as Bud Shank and Three Trombones. When they were reissued on 12-inch vinyl, also added were cuts from a date pairing Shank and Bob Brookmeyer. Although Cooper had no involvement in these recordings, Mosaic has included them, and while the addition of strings is somewhat questionable, things do swing for the most part.
Cooper and Shank come together for the first time as players on the 1956 live set Jazz at Cal-Tech , which features Shank's working rhythm section of pianist Claude Williamson, bassist Don Prell, and drummer Chuck Flores. This remote recording offers excellent sound quality and Cooper and Shank on two numbers bring back their flute and oboe lead, which had been first heard on a Howard Rumsey album a couple of years prior. It's this instrumental combination that can also be heard on cuts from the albums Blowin' Country , Flute 'N Oboe , and The Swing's To TV. But if you think this is an unusual combination more attuned to classical sensibilities than to jazz, one listen to "Sweet Georgie Brown" and you will quickly learn that Cooper and Shank are boppers at heart and they speak squarely from a jazz point of view.
Redefining our concept of West Coast "cool," Cooper and Shank swing from start to finish, and whether or not strings or unusual instruments are involved, they never stray too far from the pure elements of jazz. This sleeper just might be a surprise for those who know Shank solely through his alto sax work, and all the music is ripe for rediscovery considering its limited availability in the past.
Track Listing: DISC ONE 1. Valve In Head (A2) 3:12 (Bud Shank) 2. Cool Fool (A2) 3:23 (Bob Cooper) 3. Little Girl Blue (A2) 3:18 (R. Rodgers-L. Hart) 4. Mobile (A1) 2:45 (Bob Cooper) 5. Wailing Vessel (A2) 2:43 (Bob Cooper) 6. Baby's Birthday Party (A1) 2:48 (Ann Ronell) 7. You Don't Know What Love Is (A1) 4:18 (D. Raye-G. DePaul) 8. Sing Something Simple (A1) 2:37 (Herman Hupfield) 9. Wailing Vessel (alternate take) (A2) 2:40 (Bob Cooper) 10. When Lights Are Low (C) 7:37 (B. Carter-S. Williams) 11. Old Devil Moon (C) 6:49 (B. Lane-E. Y. Harburg) 12. The Nearness Of You (C) 4:18 (H. Carmichael-N Washington) 13. Medley (C) 5:11 a. How Long Has This Been Going On (G. Gershwin-I. Gershwin) b. Tea For Two ((V. Youmans-I. Caesar) 14. Lullaby Of Birdland (C) 4:15 (George Shearing) 15. Somebody Loves Me (C) 5:46 (Gershwin-MacDonald-DeSylva) 16. Moonlight In Vermont (C) 6:32 (K. Suessdorf-J. Blackburn) 17. The King (C) 6:40 (Count Basie) DISC TWO 1. Low Life (B2) 3:56 (Johnny Mandel) 2. When Your Lover Has Gone (B1) 2:55 (Einar Swan) 3. Out Of This World (B1) 3:12 (H. Arlen-J. Mercer) 4. There's A Small Hotel (B1) 2:38 (R. Rodgers-L. Hart) 5. Rustic Hop (B2) 4:12 (Bob Brookmeyer) 6. You Are Too Beautiful (B1) 4:01 (R. Rodgers-L. Hart) 7. With The Wind And The Rain In Your Hair (B2) 5:08 (C. Edwards-J. Lawrence) 8. Low Life (alternate take) (B2) 3:56 (Johnny Mandel) 9. Dinah (G) 3:18 (Akst-Young-Lewis) 10. Mutual Admiration Society (G) 3:46 (M. Dubey-H. Karr) 11. Steve Allen Theme (G) 4:09 (Steve Allen) 12. I've Grown Accustoned To Her Face (G) 2:42 (A.J. Lerner-F. Loewe) 13. Blowin' Country (G) 6:16 (Bud Shank) 14. Love Nest (G) 3:14 (L. Hirsch-O. Harbach) 15. As Long As There's Music (G) 3:41 (J. Styne-S. Cahn) 16. Just In Time (G) 3:42 (Styne-Comden-Green) 17. Two Lost Souls 3:45 (R. Adler-J. Ross) 18. Thanks For The Memory (G) 4:28 (R. Rainger-L. Robin) 19. A Romantic Guy, I (G) 3:33 (Sharbutt-Stanton-Uhl) DISC THREE 1. Sweet Georgia Brown (D) 3:41 (Bernie-Casey-Pinkard) 2. Gypsy In My Soul (D) 3:24 (C. Boland-M. Jaffe) 3. I Want To Be Happy (D) 2:32 (V. Youmans-I. Caesar) 4. What'll I Do (D) 2:45 (Irving Berlin) 5. They Didn't Believe Me (E) 4:42 (J. Kern-M. Rourke) 6. In The Blue Of The Evening (E) 3:35 (A. D'Artega-T. Adair) 7. Tequila Time (E) 4:20 (Bob Cooper) 8. I Can't Get Started (E) 4:15 (V. Duke-I. Gershwin) 9. Blues for Delilah (E) 7:00 (Bob Cooper) 10. Sunset And Wine (E) 4:11 (Bob Cooper) 11. When You Wish Upon A Star (F) 4:17 (N. Washington-L. Harline) 12. Put Your Dreams Away (F) 3:06 (Mann-Weiss-Lowe) 13. Tenderly (F) 2:51 (W. Gross-J. Lawrence) 14. Danny Boy (Londonderry Air) (F) 4:35 (traditional)
Personnel: Bud Shank (flute, tenor and alto sax) and Bob Cooper (oboe, bass clarinet, tenor sax)with Bob Brookmeyer, Shelly Manne, Howard Roberts, Claude Williamson, Larry Bunker, Maynard Ferguson, and many others.