412

Jack Sheldon California Cool Quartet: California Cool

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
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 73 at the end of the month, balances his jazz trumpet artistry with a unique vocal performance that he's developed through six decades of interpreting standards. With California Cool, he balances familiar pieces with fresh originals.

"Sarah" moves slowly and confidently, with the blues oozing out of every bar. Pianist Milcho Leviev hands over a searing solo that summarizes the West Coast sound. Spontaneous, slow, and heartfelt, the mood remains quite personal. Bruce Lett and Nick Martinis supply an exquisite foundation. While this foursome has been together for quite some time, California Cool represents Sheldon's first quartet recording in 17 years.

Two of his other originals, "49 Women" and "Bodega Bay," wrap the blues around sensitive soloing and hearty quartet interplay. Cohesive throughout, the foursome provides an intriguing array. Sheldon's cascading trumpet and sensuous vocals stir the imagination.

The album's title track sums up the quartet's original sound. As Sheldon asserts his penchant for writing interesting lyrics, you're reminded of the many reasons that California's West Coast cool sound took hold. 180 degrees from bebop and tension-filled modern mainstream jazz, the relaxed mood settles in easily. Hot instrumental solos and refreshing lyrics drive "California Cool" passionately, but its demeanor remains outwardly cool and laid back. Highly recommended for all audiences, California Cool stands out as the hallmark of a highly treasured segment of the jazz spectrum.


Track Listing: Wait and See; On Green Dolphin Street; Bodega Bay; Don't Get Around Much Anymore; Spinner; How High the Moon; Sarah; I'll Remember April; 49 Women; California Cool.

Personnel: Jack Sheldon: trumpet, vocal, keyboards; Milcho Leviev: piano; Bruce Lett: bass; Nick Martinis: drums.

Title: California Cool | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Butterfly Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Smooth Shake" CD/LP/Track Review Smooth Shake
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "The Catfish" CD/LP/Track Review The Catfish
by Chris Mosey
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Forage" CD/LP/Track Review Forage
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Mission Cimbalom" CD/LP/Track Review Mission Cimbalom
by Geannine Reid
Published: September 7, 2017
Read "Landed in Brooklyn" CD/LP/Track Review Landed in Brooklyn
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "December Avenue" CD/LP/Track Review December Avenue
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 2, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.