This 2-CD set truly demonstrates what was defined as the "West Coast style of jazz" but, in fact, was the Shorty Rogers style. We can hear arrangements of a loose variety, played by the most outstanding group of musicians of the Los Angeles jazz scene. The music presented here is a major example of Shorty Rogers' great talent, and a milestone in the orchestral idiom of modern jazz. Shorty's writing and playing were a pretty honest reflection of his own personality. If there was ever an individual to be selected as the head of the West Coast school, it definitely would have been Shorty Rogers.
Legendary work from Miles Davis – large group sessions that virtually define the "cool" in cool jazz! The work's quite different from Davis' earlier bop sides with Charlie Parker – and show a distinct influence from modernists like Gerry Mulligan (who is on the recordings) and from the experiments of the Tristano school. Miles is less the leader than the creative visionary – as all players come together in a perfect blend of sound, perfectly polished, and with a very dark edge.
The release of this four-CD set of works for solo string instruments and orchestra pays tribute, as does the recently issued box-set of ‘British Piano Concertos’, to the imagination and vision of the late Richard Itter and his pioneering Lyrita label. For many, Lyrita was the British music label and was loyally supported by various ‘in house’ conductors, among them Adrian Boult, Nicholas Braithwaite, Norman Del Mar and Vernon Handley. Many of the recordings offered here are from the old Lyrita analogue and early digital catalogue but there are a few recordings made during the label’s short revival between 1993 and 1996 which were not issued until more than a decade after they were made. The set makes for fantastic value for money, each CD containing well over 70 minutes of music, and the performances are generally of tremendous vibrancy and quality.