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Jack's Gone! No He Isn't; Yes He Is; No He Isn't...!

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As I sat down to write this month's column, word came that trumpeter Jack Sheldon had died. No sooner had I written a few words about that when word came that trumpeter Jack Sheldon had not died. After some back-and-forth on the internet (is he or isn't he?), the last report, it seems, was the true one. According to his wife, Dianne, Jack Sheldon is alive and well, a statement that was confirmed when someone phoned Sheldon's home and Jack himself answered. What is most ludicrous about the mix-up is that no one would find it funnier than Sheldon, whose ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Trying To Get Good: The Jazz Odyssey of Jack Sheldon

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Jack Sheldon Trying To Get Good: The Jazz Odyssey of Jack Sheldon Bialystock & Bloom, Inc./February Films 2009

Born in 1931, the near-legendary West Coast jazzman Jack Sheldon--trumpeter, singer, comedian, actor--has played and recorded with Stan Kenton, Chet Baker, Dexter Gordon, Peggy Lee, Benny Goodman, Red Norvo, Bill Harris, Art Pepper, Anita O'Day and Tierney Sutton, as well as leading his own groups. His horn has been heard on movie soundtracks, he was featured on the Merv Griffin Show and had his own short-lived television series, Run, Buddy, Run. Sheldon has a ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Trying To Get Good: The Jazz Odyssey of Jack Sheldon

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Jack Sheldon Trying To Get Good: The Jazz Odyssey of Jack Sheldon Trailer2008Finding Validation

Trying To Get Good: The Jazz Odyssey of Jack Sheldon is a film that tells the story of trumpeter- vocalist-actor-comedian Jack Sheldon's remarkable life and career. Beginning with his impoverished childhood in segregated Florida and proceeding to his formative Hollywood teenage years with the legendary Chet Baker, the film follows Sheldon's career as he swings through the Stan Kenton and Benny Goodman bands, creating a signature sound which still captivates audiences and fellow musicians to ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Jack Sheldon: Still Going Strong

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For Jack Sheldon, a beacon for some sixty years on the West Coast jazz scene, 2008 is turning out to be a very good year. At 76, the celebrated trumpet player, vocalist, bandleader and TV personality, is the subject of a new documentary film, while his jazz career continues to accelerate.

He was there when the so-called West Coast Jazz--a cooled-down version of hard bop--was born. He calls himself a “survivor" from the period. “Only a few of us are left. Bud Shank is another," he says. Sheldon and alto saxophonist Shank played together in the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jack Sheldon and the California Cool Quartet: It's What I Do

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If West Coast jazz has a tone, it is dry ice cool. Trumpeter, vocalist and actor Jack Sheldon, the entertainment triple threat, played a big part in forging this tone in the period following Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool (Blue Note, 1949). That recording was the shot over the bow of bebop that gave rise to the Left Coast cats perfecting what Miles started, just as Mozart perfected Haydn's brand of classicism. Sheldon's huge personality and capacity for practical jokes could lead one to think of him as the West Coast Dizzy Gillespie. This temperament has at times overshadowed ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jack Sheldon & Jack Marshall: Freaky Friday: The Jazz Opera

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Humor and jazz from the early 1960s give this short opera plenty of sex appeal. The music that Jack Sheldon created, and the dialogue that he wrote with Jack Marshall, comes from an era when beach movies were popular and Elvis was giving the big-screen heartthrob performances that would last forever.

Howard Roberts' guitar, Sheldon's trumpet, and vocals by both Sheldon and Nancy Kelly give this precursor to Schoolhouse Rock a terrific ambience. Tongue-in-cheek humor abounds from start to finish. The story line is based on experiences of a social nature and how we're able to laugh at ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Jack Sheldon Quintet: Sunday Afternoons at The Lighthouse Cafe

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Jack Sheldon Quintet Sunday Afternoons at The Lighthouse Cafe Woofy Productions 2006

Father's Day at the Lighthouse brought families together for this warm afternoon performance by the venerable Jack Sheldon and his musical partners. The weather in Hermosa Beach is pleasant all year round, and the jazz this day was a perfect match. Sheldon sings from the heart with his unique delivery, pours beautiful melodies forth from his horn, and leads his all-star quintet comfortably in this program of favorite songs.

Sheldon grew up in Detroit and moved to Southern California in ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Jack Sheldon Quintet at the Lighthouse

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The Lighthouse Hermosa Beach, California June 19, 2005

Father's Day brought out a leisure-loving audience of dedicated jazz fans for Jack Sheldon's warm performance at the historic Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach for Sunday brunch. It makes no difference whether you're young or old, modern or traditional, East Coast or West Coast, or just plain ambivalent. Everybody likes Jack Sheldon. At 73, he's at the peak of his career. The music has never sounded better, he's able to reflect casually on a large variety of issues, and his genuine nature emerges through every note he plays and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jack Sheldon California Cool Quartet: California Cool

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Trumpeter Jack Sheldon, who started out with Wardell Gray and Dexter Gordon, has helped build the West Coast sound in jazz. His early work with Art Pepper, Jimmy Giuffre, Curtis Counce, and Herb Geller helped to knit together a tight circle of musical associates who pioneered the West Coast cool faction in modern jazz. Chet Baker was a close friend. Like Baker and Miles Davis, Sheldon takes great care with the golden tone that he's developed on his instrument. Smooth and velvety, with a superb flexible range, he offers the best with every performance.

Sheldon, who will turn ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jack Sheldon: Class Act

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Trumpeter Jack Sheldon, who turns 67 this month, started out with Wardell Gray, Dexter Gordon, Curtis Counce, Bill Holman, and Stan Kenton. He moved on quickly to an eclectic career that has included hard bop ensembles, his own big band, studio work, singing & acting, but never strayed far from the sweet tone and fluid articulation that pours forth from his trumpet.

Back in the '60s Sheldon starred in the television spy-spoof sitcom “Run, Buddy, Run," and he was Merv Griffin's music director during The Merv Griffin Show's" run in the '70s and '80s. Nick Ceroli, Ray Brown, and Plas ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bill Perkins / Jack Sheldon: On Stage / The Quartet and The Quintet

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The California jazz scene reached its zenith in the 50's and 60's and Richard Bock's Pacific Jazz label managed to capture most of the music from this “cool school". Artists such as Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan, Art Pepper and Bud Shank all recorded for Pacific Jazz and they emerged as West Coast masters. Bill Perkins (tenor) and Jack Sheldon (trumpet/vocals) were two artists who enjoyed brief, but rewarding stints with the label. Perkins went on to pursue a career in sound engineering, while Sheldon is probably best known for his TV gig as Merv Griffins sidekick bandleader/funnyman.

West Coast Classics ...



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