Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Chesky Records 2015 Yearly Review

The editorial staff at JazzProfiles receives loads of information about new releases, both self-produced and commercially released by a record company. Over the past twenty years, one label that it has been consistently impressed with in terms of the quality of the music it issues is Chesky Records.

Here is an overview of what Chesky was up to in 2015.

For a look at what's ahead, please visit the label directly at www.chesky.com.



 News
  Chesky Records Yearly Review and Preview




                                              
TAKE A LOOK BACK AT CHESKY'S 2015 RELEASES

IF YOU WOULD LIKE PROMO COPIES FOR PRESS OR RADIO, PLEASE CONTACT JEFF@CHESKY.COM

FROM THE MOUNTAINTOP
The New Appalachians
Folk / Bluegrass

Billboard Top 15 Bluegrass Album

Featuring a full seventeen songs whose history can be traced back decades or even centuries through the Appalachian region, From The Mountaintop, and renowned Cellist, Dave Eggar, assemble an all-star cast of musicians set to treat your ears and transport you to the Appalachian region of years long passed.

"If you're a fan of this type of traditional music (and I very much am), From The Mountaintop is a must-hear album, and perhaps my favorite album of the year. The Binaural+ capture is like being there." - Jude Mansilla, Head-Fi

"A long-overdue contribution to this important genre. My highest recommendation for both musical content and for the quality of the production." - David Robinson, Positive Feedback
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INTERPLAY
Mark Sherman and Kenny Barron
Jazz

This stellar inter-generational collaboration between vibraphonist Mark Sherman and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Kenny Barron, showcases their remarkable interplay on nine well-chosen standards and two originals. “Kenny’s harmonic sense and just the way he serves the music is at the highest level,” says Sherman. “I was transcribing Kenny Barron solos when I was 16, 17 years old, so you can imagine how much it means to me to be recording with him.”

"A great meeting between jazz piano legend Kenny Barron and the younger, brilliant vibes player Mark Sherman – Barron being a veteran of top notch duo settings, and Sherman newer to it – but Sherman succeeds here mightily! Interplay couldn't be a more fitting title, as the pair are perfectly simpatico – working together on a range of material and a lone Barron original, it's wonderful from track-to-track – feeling like one of the coziest, strongest late night jazz club sessions you'd ever be lucky enough to see. Includes nice takes on the tried-and-true "Afternoon In Paris", "Dear Old Stockholm" and "Indian Summer", the Barron composed waltz "Venture Within", Dexter Gordon's "Cheese Cake", the Charles Mingus gem "Orange Was The Color Of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk", "Polka Dots And Moonbeams", "Without A Song" and more."  ~ Dusty Groove, Jazz Chill Music

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PRIMAL SCREAM 
David Chesky and
Jazz in the New Harmonic
Jazz


Once again pianist/composer David Chesky courts a dark muse on this second outing by his Jazz in the New Harmonic quintet. The noirish atmosphere prevails from his first dissonant stabs at the keyboard on the opener, “Check Point Charlie”, to the final moody strains of the closer, “Sleepless in New York”. This is a different kind of cool jazz, one that grooves along steadily. Featuring Billy Drummond on drums, Javon Jackson on tenor sax and clarinet, Jeremy Pelt on trumpet and Peter Washington on bass. Close your eyes and you can fell a fundamental groove-and-riff formula that is not unlike what Eddie Harris was putting down on “Listen Here” or Herbie Hancock on “Cantaloupe Island”.

Four Star Review: "This is a cool, calm and collected set, dry as a martini and nearly as subtle." - John McDonough, Downbeat

"...that steady-strolling groove and the overall lack of pretension and unncessary flamboyance keep things centered, resulting in music that suggests an almost zen-like contemplation on the dialectic between control and freedom." - David Whiteis, JazzTimes
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IN AN AMBIENT WAY
POWERHOUSE
Jazz

POWERHOUSE is a jazz super group that set its sights on interpreting Miles Davis’ groundbreaking album In A Silent Way using modern recording technology and sonic textures as a contribution to the improvisation. Not only is the texture of the room taken into consideration for the choice of music, but also the prime placement of each instrument within the matrix of the captured sound, all of which added to the input of inspiration that makes the music more alive and interactive.


Featuring: Wallace Roney (trumpet), Bob Belden (soprano sax & flute), Oz Noy (guitar), Kevin Hays (Fender Rhodes), Daryl Johns (bass) & Lenny White (drums)

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DUNNUN KAN
Mangue Sylla and
The All-Star Drummers of Guinea
World


Dynamic percussionist Mangue Sylla returns to his West African roots, first visited on his 2007 debut recording Kon Koura. The Guinea native’s traditional drumming style showcases his profound mastery of the country’s distinctive percussive instruments: the sangban, doundoun, and djembe. Dunnun Kanis rich with the great strides made by Sylla in the eight years since releasing Kon Koura; his playing is more masterful and electrifying than ever before, yet he still delivers the familiar history and rich stories of his native Guinea, drumming like an artful archivist.

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JOY and SORROW
David Chesky
Classical

While in Poland attending the performances of his opera The Mice War at the Krakow Opera, David Chesky and conductor Yaniv Segal took a life changing trip to Auschwitz and Birkenau. Emotionally shaken by the experience, David wanted to create works not only depicting the sorrows of the death camps, but the joys and celebrations that encompass all aspects of Jewish life. David took the Eastern European musical language of Klezmer and used it as the building blocks to construct these modern Jewish works for The Chelsea Symphony featuring soloists Artur Kaganovskiy (violin), Ethan Herschenfeld (bass), Moran Katz (clarinet), and Kristina Reiko Cooper (cello).

"Among discs of Chesky's music, this one is a winner, and, as one would expect from this label, the engineering is superb, featuring binaural recording technology."   Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare Magazine

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TEARS AND RUMBA
Xiomara Laugart
Latin


On her third for Chesky Records, Xiomara Laugart steps up to the plate with her own distinctive style to interpret some Cuban classics from the golden era of the 1920s.Tears and Rumba is a fine introduction to the singer-songwriter’s driven trova style from the city of Santiago and features works by two extremely influential composers of that era, Maria Teresa Vera and Miguel Matamoros. Laugart grew up listening and singing these tunes with her father, who encouraged her to sing starting at the age of five. “We heard these songs on the radio and everybody listened to the radio then,” she said of her Havana childhood.  As the title of the record suggests the songs that Laugart interprets so elegantly range from the moody trova style standards like Vera’s  “Ausencia” to the danceable son montuno of Matamoros’ “La Mujer de Antonio.” The heart wrenching lyrics of “Ausencia” speak about a love that will never be. Mixed with Yunior Terry’s stirring acoustic bass, they will have you sobbing in your mojito. But not to worry, Laugart, who has been influenced by Chaka Khan as much as by Vera and Matamoros, will have everyone packing the dance floor in a New York minute with her swinging versions of “La Mujer de Antonio” and “Nadie Se Salva de la Rumba,” made popular again during the 1980s by Celia Cruz.

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YOU'RE SURROUNDED
Various Artists
Misc.


Dr Chesky says......"Is it possible to hear an all natural 360 degree soundstage with just headphones and no artificial processing?"
The answer is maybe. It depends on a few things. Everyone's ear pinnas are different, just like your fingerprints. In other words, people that have pinnas that closely match our B & K Binaural human shaped head microphone’s "ears" will hear the most precise and immersive sound field; those whose pinnas don't match exactly will still hear an immersive soundfield. We have recorded a great selection of music and tests to demonstrate that it is possible to be enveloped in a 360 degree soundfield with just a pair of headphones, without any ARTIFICIAL processing or additives, just all natural 100 percent organic Binaural. Of course, all headphones sound different and the immersion may vary, depending on the design of the headphone, and how it matches your pinnas. So if you have the chance, try listening with different full-size headphones as well as in-ear headphones. We wish you great listening.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Julian "Cannonball" Adderley - The Barbara Gardner Interview

© -  Steven A. Cerra - copyright protected; all rights reserved.


In the following interview, Cannonball brings out some interesting expectations on the part of Jazz club owners and patrons about the “working conditions” of the times.


When I first started playing Jazz clubs, the first set began at 9:00 PM and the last set ended at 2:00 PM because the venues had as their prime focus - not the music - but the selling of booze.


Musician owned clubs like Shelly’s Manne Hole and Ronnie Scott’s in London, may have been exceptions to this rule, at least initially, but for the most part, the emphasis was not on the music or on the welfare of the musicians.


Under the circumstances, as Cannonball points out, there was simply no way that any musician could maintain a high level of creativity.


At the time of this its publication in the October 15, 1959 edition of Down Beat magazine Barbara Gardner was described as follows in the About the Writer insert:


“Barbara Gardner is a young Chicago writer who was born in Black Mountain, N. C. She was educated at Talladega College in Alabama, where she took a double major — English literature with a journalism minor, and education with a sociology minor.


In 1954 she moved to Chicago. She has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of jazz musicians. "I don't know how it happened. I just seemed to meet them all the time," she says. "And of course I was intensely interested in the music ever since I can remember."


Julian and Nat Adderley are her good personal friends, which adds an extra element of insight to her article on the gifted alto saxophonist. This is her first appearance in DOWN BEAT.”


“Jazz is currently enjoying — or suffering through — the most controversial era in its comparatively short history.


Great armed camps stand against each other. They are for or against traditionalism, modernism, progressivism, and even criticism. When critic meets writer, or Loyal Swing Fan meets Progressive True Believer, the blue tonalities and augmented chords are sure to fly until one camp has slashed the other sharply on its B-flat, and heaven help the bystanding neutral music lover who is audacious enough to intervene.


Underneath this furor, the musicians, of course, quietly go on about the business they feel is urgently important — the creation of music. But the critics and fans, not satisfied with dissecting the various "schools" and classes of jazz, have by now turned to taking apart individual performances. Here, the crisis shows itself — often in the form of open hostility as the jazzman loses patience at being scrutinized to determine whether he is a creator or an imitator, a miracle or a mirage.


Since 1955, one musician has been the object of this kind of examination and cross-examination perhaps more than any other. Wherever musicians or fans gather to discuss modern American music, his name crops up again and again. Dismissed hotly by some as unprogressive or acclaimed fervently for rugged individualism, "Cannonball" is fired into the debate. Here, say his admirers, is the man to be reckoned with as the leading altoist today.


The advent of Gannonball Adderley on the jazz scene was as instantaneous and forceful as his name might seem to suggest. If no one can remember his struggles for recognition in the cold and unexcitable city of New York, it is because he never struggled. His musical acceptance, achieved without effort, goes counter to all the accepted legends about heartbroken, unrecognized genius. He has, of course, worked consistently and hard. He has worked always in jazz, and with the greatest musicians. But his efforts did not go unrewarded; when he arrived in New York, he sat in one night with a group of name musicians in Greenwich Village — and was instantly recognized as a remarkable talent.


Yet the nickname "Cannonball" was not acquired as a symbol of the way he struck New York, bowling everyone over. Actually, it dates back to his high school days. His schoolmates, searching for a term that most aptly described his mammoth appetite, came up with "Cannibal." Time and the American propensity for word corruption gradually twisted this into "Cannonball."


Born simply Julian Edwin Adderley in Tampa, Fla., Cannon represented a talent always inherent in the Adderley clan. His father, Julian F, Adderley, was a noted jazz cornetist who presumed from the start that one of his two sons would play the same horn he did. But Cannon was not to be the one. After dabbling briefly with trumpet in high school, he turned to alto saxophone when he was 14, and it was left to his younger brother, Nat, to become the second famous cornetist in the Adderley family.


Cannon and Nat were something of a musical phenomenon in Tampa. Prior to their studies of instruments, the brothers were a temporary sensation as boy sopranos.
Nor was music the only area in which Julian's precociousness revealed itself. Academically, he skimmed along at a rapid pace, graduating from grammar school at 10, from high school at 15, and from Florida A&M. College at 18. At 19, an age when many adolescents are still going through preliminary bouts with the electric shaver, he was music instructor and band director of Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale.


He grew up fast in every way. This was wartime and, he recalls, "we didn't have any adolescence. I was a fast young musician with plenty of money in my pockets, the men were away at war, and the boys were left around to fill in until they came back."


By this time, Cannonball had been working for three years in local nightclubs and on weekend gigs. Even when he began teaching, lie took advantage of every possible opportunity to blow his horn in the free musical atmosphere of jazz bands and combos.


But his dual existence continued. He went on teaching at Dillard High, and his students were fortunate in having an instructor who was proficient on trumpet, flute, clarinet, tenor saxophone, and, of course, alto. But the bright lights and dreams of fame and fortune continued to pull at him.


His indecision was temporarily settled for him in 1952: he was drafted. Yet, even in the service, his singlemindedness toward music never faltered. He led both a small combo and a big band. And meantime, he was creating a strong impression on jazz musicians who heretofore had never heard of the youthful terror of Tampa. One of them was Clark Terry. Later, Terry was to bring Cannon to the attention of one of the leading recording firms.


When he was at last separated from the army, Cannon went for a time to the U.S. Naval School in Washington, D. C., to study reed instruments. Then, in 1954, he went back to Florida, determined to wipe the bright lights out of his eyes and resume teaching.


But by now the pull toward jazz was too strong. And in the summer of 1955, the Southland lost another of its sons to the glamour of that self-appointed jazz mecca of the world, New York. Cannon arrived in Manhattan at the same time as his brother Nat, who had just left the Lionel Hampton band. He lost no time making his presence known. A stroke of luck helped.



The night after his arrival, tenor saxophonist Jerome Richardson, then with Oscar Pettiford, was late for work at Greenwich Village's Cafe Bohemia. At the urging of musicians who had heard "of" Cannonball, Pettiford — with some reservations - allowed the young man from Tampa to sit in. The musicians' trick of "wasting" the newcomer by playing a difficult arrangement was tried on Adderley.


The musicians were astounded at the outcome of the trick, which is as old as jazz. Cannon romped through the rapid ensemble segment of I’ll Remember April, then established his authority with a long, well-executed solo. By the end of the night, there was no doubt about it. the Tampa Cannonball was in — a welcome soulbrother.


This dramatic impact on the musicians of New York was remarkably parallel to that of Cannon's major source of inspiration, the late Charlie Parker, who came to the big city in the late 1930s, after considerable woodshedding, and astounded musicians and critics alike with his fantastic mastery of his instrument. This parallel, however, taken with the fact that Cannon plays alto with the finely developed sense of timing, the well-defined beat and the flowing melodic sense that had been the stamp of Bird for more than a decade, helped form the only cloud over his career: critics and writers pitted him time after time against Parker in their comparisons.


The musicians' grapevine, second only to the housewife's back fence as a high-speed conveyor of information, spread the word about the new arrival from Florida. Within days, on the strength of this reputation, Cannon was on his way. Arranger Quincy Jones and Cannon's army buddy, Clark Terry, had brought the altoist's prowess to the attention of EmArcy Records. He was signed to a contract.


For a time, he continued to work with Oscar Pettiford. Later, he formed his own group, featuring brother Nat. But it was in 1958 that he began one of the associations for which he is best known: he joined the Miles Davis quintet for the Jazz for Moderns tour. He remained with Miles until last month, and became in the interim friend, business manager, and mediator to the gifted and individualistic trumpeter.


Miles' temperament is, of course, legend in the music business. A complex, seemingly contradictory man whom many persons find difficult to deal with, he is the subject of much talk and speculation. Cannon bristles if the subject is raised.
"I don't understand what all this is concerning Miles," he said. "Miles is just what he has always been. He doesn't try to be the way he is because he is a famous musician. He would be the same type of person if he were a truck driver. He is just
himself, and he doesn't feel that he has to conform for the sake of conformity."


The question of Miles" personality cannot, however, be dismissed that easily. For one thing, there is the observation that Billy Taylor recently made during a Blindfold Test (Down Beat, Sept. 3). "I have been interested," Taylor told Leonard Feather, "in Miles' effect on his side men; how, for instance, he changed Cannonball's way of playing and his approach to music . . . "


There are indications that Miles also had an effect on Cannon's personality, though the changes are subtle. Miles has the rare ability to impose not only some of his approach to music but also some of his personality on his men. Thus, while Cannon is by nature a warm, gregarious individual, he seems to have acquired, in a superficial way, some of the forthright sharpness that is an innate and natural trait in Miles.


Thus it will be seen that the decision to leaves Miles' group is a decisive one for the alto man. He retains a tremendous respect for the trumpeter as a creative force in music and, consciously or unconsciously, uses Miles as his norm in discussing other groups or individual performers.


The effects of Miles obviously were not in the main bad. For Cannonball is currently enjoying a steadily rising appreciation among critics, musicians, and the lay public.


After having been named in almost every leading poll in this country, and mentioned repeatedly in European voting, he capped it this year by winning the poll that many authorities think is the significant one: the International Jazz Critics' Poll conducted by Down Beat. He walked off with the New Star plaque for alto.


Cannon shares with many musicians the paradoxical position of denouncing all polls for their serious omissions and inconsistencies while at the same time admitting that he has long hoped to win one.


"Yes, I'm very proud to be a winner in this poll," he confessed self consciously.
"Everybody wants to feel that people are accepting their work." Then, as if he needed a more practical justification for his pleasure, he added: "Then, too, the polls represent your popularity, really, and your drawing power. When the public is aware of you, you can command better conditions for your efforts."


The "better conditions" would surely include an improvement in the working conditions in nightclubs where, he feels, there is little room  for creative playing. And that, after all, is what Cannonball is after.


"The nights are just too long in most places," he said. "And the conditions generally are bad — small crowded stages and poor sound systems.


"After the first couple of sets, there isn't too much happening in the way of real creativity. You can't just turn talent on and off all night for six or seven hours. They expect you to get up there and create something new seven times a night. "It just isn't possible.”


Now 31 years old, Julian Adderley is a tall man whose heavy build makes him an imposing figure. He has been on a diet of late, and has cut his weight from 300 pounds to a less cumbersome if not exactly svelte 230.


An articulate and extremely well-informed conversationalist, he has a disconcerting habit of spicing his speech with short, earthy expletives traditionally thought appropriate to the conversation of sailors. Of this profanity, he says: "Once in awhile, when you're among friends, you like to let your hair down and just tell it as it is."


Still a bachelor, Cannon thinks that maybe he'll settle down "in about five years." Meantime, he says, "I don't have time for permanent entanglements. When I do, all this travelling and nonsense is going to stop.


"I don't have any definite philosophy of living. I am just beginning to get things straightened out in my own mind. But I do believe that a person has a responsibility to do whatever makes him happy. Nowadays, you can't always take time to reason — or regret what is past.


"You just have to live each day for what it's worth."


He reflected a moment, then went on. "I've seen so many people in this business who just couldn't get their minds together because of worrying whether they should or should not do something. Sometimes they worry about what people are going to think of their actions.


"If you are going to worry, then you shouldn't do a thing in the first place."


For the present, Cannonball has his work and his challenge cut out for him. The departure from Miles gave him the chance to do what he had never really stopped thinking about: setting up another group featuring brother Nat. After touring as stars of the Newport Jazz Festival concert tour, Cannon and Nat hit the circuit Sept. 21 in Philadelphia.


As he and Nat prepared to go out with the group, he was noticeably excited about the chances, about the possibility of finding that new sound that musicians are always seeking.


He was aware, of course, that uncertainty is a stark reality of the jazz world. The artist is never allowed to relax on his laurels and be carried along on the wings of deeds remembered. There is no time allotted or assistance given to those who have been so indiscreet as to fall from favor. They have to step quickly and quietly out of the path as the procession moves resolutely on.


Vivid examples of such tragedies are plentiful in the history of jazz. But there is a possibility that the new generation of jazzmen, of which Cannon is a part, has learned a lesson from its less fortunate predecessors.


"This is a funny business" said Cannonball, summarizing his attitude to music and to his new group. "One day you're right up there on top, and the next day you can't find a job.


"I want to be protected against that kind of future."  




                

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Shorty Rogers Is Long On West Coast Jazz

© -  Steven A. Cerra - copyright protected; all rights reserved.


“The definition of "West Coast Jazz?" You know, I've been asked that question so many times. It's a hard one. I'm not trying to evade the question, I'm just trying to figure it out myself. Maybe I was a practitioner of it, but as I think it over, all of us in music are products of our environment and heritage. Shelly Manne, Jimmy Giuffre and myself who are so distinctly associated with this sound...when I look back at our musical heritage, I remember that we all loved the Kansas City 7, a small unit out of the Basie band, and groups that you don't hear people speak about anymore. Bassist John Kirby, for instance, had kind of soft sounding group.


Just to express ourselves and have fun, some of our tunes were in the softer groove. Lester Young played clarinet in the Kansas City 7 and created a sound much like Giuffre was getting later. If you research it and analyze it, you'll see a very strong similarity between the Kansas City 7 sound and what later became known as the "West Coast Jazz" sound. A quite similar sound coming out of the East Coast was called "Cool Jazz." They are kind of interrelated with each other.


The bottom line is we're just a few guys trying to have fun, enjoying and expressing ourselves through playing.”
Shorty Rogers as quoted in Steven Harris, The Kenton Kronicles


Although not specifically credited, the following piece on Shorty Rogers appeared under the continually running “The West Coast of Jazz” series in the February 5, 1959 edition of Down Beat magazine. The Los Angeles Associate Editor at that time was John Tynan who more than likely penned the piece.


As you read about what was going on in Shorty’s career in 1959, please keep in mind that this is just one aspect of the vibrant and dynamic musical scene that was the world of many Los Angeles based Jazz musicians.


Doing movie studio calls, radio jingles and TV commercials during the day and playing Jazz gigs at night while interspersing recording sessions at all hours of the day and night was the norm.


It was a marvelously creative time for all concerned.


Who knew that in less than a decade much of it, if not most of it, would all be over?! With the benefit of hindsight, there is an ironic twist to one meaning for the word  “long” in the title of this piece.


“Arms dangling, head bent and bobbing to the beat, fingers snapping and jaws chomping gum, the short, dark-bearded trumpeter stood alone in the center of the recording studio listening to a playback.


Shorty Rogers had left his horn at home for this particular record date. In his capacity as west coast supervisor for RCA-Victor jazz albums his job in this instance was in the booth, overseeing the performance of a small group, led by tenor-ist Jack Montrose, which included Red Norvo (Shorty's brother-in-law), Barney Kessel, Red Wooten, and Mel Lewis.


''Swell, fellas," Shorty drawled as the playback ended, "let's go on to the next one."


Back at his bench in the booth, Rogers lit his tenth cigarette since the session began, took a swig from a bottle of coke and, when the musicians were ready, cued them on the first take of the next number.


During Montrose's solo, Shorty nodded repeatedly, a broad smile on his face. "The closer Jack gets to the shape of a pretzel," he grinned, "the funkier he plays."


"The Kenton guys used to call Jack 'George Washington' because he looks just like him. See?" Impulsively he pulled out a dollar bill, blocked off Washington's head, triumphantly repeating, "See? The cover of this album's gonna be a dollar bill," he chuckled.


With an unusually generous capacity for fun and laughter, 34-year-old Milton Rogers, late of Great Barrington, Mass., has much to enjoy these days.


Now solidly established at Victor's Hollywood office as jazz chief, his arranging chores know little letup as he churns out endless charts for record dates that range from his own swingers to the most commercial pop singles.


Shorty works all hours of the day or night, when he has a deadline to meet, in a large, untidy work room in back of his redwood-and-brick ranch style Van Nuys, Calif., home. Here an old upright piano stands in a corner adjacent to the large draftsman's table on which he writes. The rest of the space is taken up by a clutter of papers, a guitar and miscellany on a low table, old magazines and a variety of bric a brac. On the far side of the room four multicolored mobiles dangle and stir restlessly in perfect balance.


"I shut the door and make these," he laughed, "and my wife thinks I'm writing."


Marge, Shorty's pretty, blond wife, functions in the very positive capacities of wife, mother of three sprouting children and intelligent manager of her husband's business affairs.


Tangible results of Mrs. Rogers' skill in management are evident in many corners of Shorty's demesne. Not only is his back garden graced by a large swimming pool, but he has had built two poolside Polynesian-type grass huts, one for changing clothes, the other a cabana with table and chairs.


Here his three children, Michele, 11; Mike, 9, and Marshall, 7, romp to their hearts' delight while Mom and Dad relax in the cabana enjoying the fruits of a successful career in music.


A typical week's activity for Shorty was the seven-day period preceding Down Beat's interview. Monday he had a record date with a vocalist; he wrote four arrangements for that. The next four days were spent locked in his study, completing charts for his own big band date, Chances Are — It Swings, set for April release. Saturday Shorty spent in the studio, recording the album till the early morning hours.


On the day of rest, the trumpeter-arranger lounged around his home in a grey, terrycloth playsuit while wife and children visited relatives. Most of the afternoon he spent sprawled in the rumpus room watching a basketball game on one of three television sets in the house.


There is no question of Will success spoil Shorty Rogers?  It hasn't — personally nor musically. While his backbreaking writing chores are accepted as a happy vocation, he enjoys more than ever, he says, playing trumpet or Fluegelhorn.


"It's really a gas blowing now." He tugged at the short, curly beard, eyes twinkling. "I get the same feeling playing now as I used to get when I was real young. Today, when I get a club gig with the group, I feel like I'm back in high school when I play. It's my getting a chance to blow . . . a fresh feeling. Playing for enjoyment's sake, that's a groovy thing."


Shorty, who plays only on his own dates now, admits the tension and clinical atmosphere of a recording date puts somewhat of a strain on his own playing.


"There's such a lot to think about," he explained. "You're concerned with the writing, balance, kicking off the tempos, and all the rest of it. But in spite of all the hassle, when you get your horn up and blow, it's a relief from all the other complications."


Rogers' records have enjoyed particular success on the Victor label, and the sales statistics account for his being the only jazz artist on the west coast under long term contract to the Little Dog.


Though in charge of Victor jazz recording on the coast, Shorty spreads his talents to encompass much writing in the pop field, too. He doesn't feel that this versatility will work to his detriment with fans and buyers of his jazz albums and cites the activity of arrangers such as Neal Hefti and Al Cohn to support his contention. Besides, he argues, his connection with non-jazz record production provides additional work for the many jazzmen he calls to do the pop sessions.

"My using the jazz cats on these dates gives them a chance to prove to everybody that they're very good musicians who can handle any style music with ease," he stressed.

As the acknowledged first High Lama of modern jazz on the west coast, Rogers feels that if coast jazzmen are playing differently from their brothers in the east ". . . it's not because of their more stable, domesticated lives, but because they're listening more . . . to all music.”


"Jazz is constantly changing," he avered. "It's changing so rapidly that what's valid today might not be valid three weeks from now. So musicians have got to go on developing with it and, in turn, change the music to fit the time."


Shorty's efforts in this direction are due principally, he feels, to study under Dr. Wesley La Violette, Los Angeles teacher whose students include Red Norvo, Jim Hall, John Graas, and others.


To Rogers, LaViolette's main value and most important quality as a teacher is that "... he tries to teach the technique of writing. Just as a pianist works to develop his fingering, La Violette encourages his students to develop their personal writing technique. And within that lies the development of what you might call the 'inner technique' to be yourself and to express yourself."


As proof of the soundness of La Violette's method, Shorty cites the fact that none of those musicians who have studied under the white-haired maestro write alike.


Looking forward to touring Europe in the spring, Rogers said simply, "I'm a bug on the National Geographic and I'm dying to see some of those places I've been reading about/' Originally, he said, the tour was planned for last October but the promoters, changing their minds, felt that the hornman would encounter better weather in six months.


One of Shorty's favorite enthusiasms is the husband of his sister, Eve, Red Norvo. During the Montrose date red-headed Norvo was relaxing on a chair by the piano, arm propped on the chair back and his little cap tilted over one eye. Watching him from the booth, Shorty grinned. "Look at Red. He looks looks like a cross between Hemingway and Burl Ives." Then, he added, "For all the years Red's been around, it's really great to see his records doing so well for Victor.''


Shorty and Red are inveterate football fans. "When we go to a game together, Red is jumping up and down like a yo-yo, tearing his cap off his head, slapping it on again, yelling at the plays. And the cap is waving in the air like a flag. He's cute."


Of Bob Yorke, the RCA-Victor executive to whom Shorty is directly responsible, the trumpeter waxed eloquent. "He was the cat I did my first Victor albums for. Remember? He's a wonderful guy and a great friend to jazz musicians. Having him here is crazy for us because now he's in charge of everything. Yeah, it's a real break for jazz."”