Saturday, April 11, 2009

Alto Saxophone Player Bud Shank Passed Away

Altsaxofonist Bud Shank Overleden (Nederlands) Alto Saxophone Player Bud Shank Passed Away (English)

A Limited Bud Shank Discography
BUD SHANK in my collection


1926-2009
ALTO SAXOPHONE PLAYER BUD SHANK PASSED AWAY
Hans Koert


We don't know to do anything else ( Bud Shank)

Last week Bud Shank, passed away in his home town Tucson, Arizona, because of a heart attack. He was 82 years old.

For most of us, Bud Shank is an icon of the West Coast Jazz; the jazz played in the 1950s at the Wwst coast of the States by musicians like Gerry Mulligan, Shorty Rogers up to Ornette Coleman. For Bud this kind of music, labelled as West Coast jazz doesn't exist. It's a invention by critics, to give it a place opposed the New York based jazz. In fact you could categorize West Coast Jazz as the music played by jazz musicians in California, who had their living in the film studios in Hollywood. They loved to play in venues like the Lighthouse Club in Hermosa Beach or in the Haig in LA. As a kid Bud studied all kinds of (reed) instruments and the flute and the alto saxophone became his major instruments while playing in the Charlie Barnet band late 1940s. Enjoy a fragment from the film I Want To Live in which you can see a jazz club scene with musicians like Frank Rosolino on trombone, Bud Shank on alto saxophone, Art Farmer on trumpet, Red Mitchell on bass and Shelly Manne on drums. The music they play could be labeled as "West Coast Jazz".

In the early 1950s he became a member of the famous Stan Kenton Orchestra and played alto saxophone and flute; the instruments he played professionally. He performed in the Howard Rumsey Lighthouse All Stars and made some records for Pacific Jazz, like one with Bill Perkins. I specially like his cooperation with Laurindo Almeida the Brazilian guitar player who played for the Brazilian radio in the 1940s and moved to California to play with the Stan Kenton band in the late 1940s. When in the late 1950s the bossa nova music, a mix of Brazilian samba with American jazz elements, became a hype, he played that music too with musicians like Laurindo Almeida and Joao Donato.
Enjoy a fragment a played by Bud Shank with Joao Donato.

In the 1960s and onwards other styles of music became more popular and for jazz musicians it was hard to make a living playing jazz. Thanks to the numerous studio musicians they could work in the film studios and so did Bud Shank. It gave him the opportunity to play, but, it ruined the ears, as you play written arrangements and don't have to improvise any more.
When in the 1980s the film makers started to use synthesizers in stead of a string orchestra and that kind of stuff a lot of studio musicians had to stop - Bud Shank made a restart; he founded the L.A. Four with Laurindo Almeido on the guitar, Bud Shank on alto saxophone and flute, Ray Brown on bass and Shelly Manne on drums. A great band, which introduced me to this kind of music as a young adult ages ago. Jeff Hamilton, who played here last year at the Porgy en Bess Jazz club in Terneuzen (in the southwest of The Netherlands) would later become drummer of this group. In the late 1980s Bud was no longer working as a studio musician and he left the L.A. Four too. He stopped playing the flute and started to develop into a sought after alto saxophone player. I do have two Contemporary albums from this period in my collection, titled That Old Feeling from 1986 and Tomorrow's Rainbow recorded two years later. I like the former the best with Shank on alto, George Cables on piano, John Heard on bass and Tootie Heath on drums; he proved with this album that he had been developed his own style and a skilled saxophone player.
The latter is dedicated to the Brazilian repertoire - not bad, no problem, but in my case I dislike the use of an electric 5-string bass guitar and several synthesizers. The personel of the latter is Bud Shank on alto, Marcos Silva on the keyboards and keyboard synthesizers, Ricardi Peixoto on the guitar and guitar synthesizers, Gary Brown op 5-string electric bass, Michael Shapiro en Michael Spiro op percussion.

I heard Bud Shank at the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague (2004) where he played with his Quartet, featuring Phil Woods as a special guest. The personnel was: Bud Shank and Phil Woods alto saxes, Bill Mays piano, Martin Wind bass and Joe LaBarbera drums. I love to share you a fragment of a concert with almost the same personnel as mentioned above, but with Bob Magnusson on bass in stead of Martin Wind ( and no Phil Woods): Bouncing with Bud (no, not Bud Shank, but Bud Powell) ( Sao Paolo - Brasil 2004)

Hans Koert - keepswinging@live.nl


A limited Discography
BUD SHANK in my COLLECTION

This time a (limited) list with tunes on which Bud Shank can be heard.

STAN KENTON and his ORCHESTRA
art pepper (1950) dynaflow - jump for joe - young blood - coop's solo - coop's solo - samana (1951)
SHORTY ROGERS and his GIANTS
sweetheart of sigmund freud - boar-jibu - coop de graas coop the graas - infinity promenade - short stop - chiquito loco - contours - sweetheart of sigmund freud - tale of an african lobster (1953)
GERRY MULLIGAN TENTETTE
ballad - walkin' shoes - westwood walk - flash - ontet - simbah - takin' a chance on love (1953)
MILES DAVIS SEPTET
infinity promenade - night in tunesia - round midnight (1953)
HOWARD RUMSEY LIGHTHOUSE ALL-STARS
mambo los feliz - aquarium - happy town ( 1953-1954)
BUD SHANK QUINTET
jasmine - lotus bud (1954)
JIMMY GIUFFRE QUINTET/ SEPTET
four brothers - nutty pine - sultana - wrought of iron (1954)
HERBIE HARPER QUINTET
happy clown - new york city ghost - now playing - sanguine (1954)
CHET BAKER and ORCHESTRA
grey december - i wish i knew - someone to watch over me - this is always (1955)
BUD SHANK - BILL PERKINS QUINTET
fluted columns - i hear music - it had to be you - paradise - royal garden blues - sinner kissed an angel (1955)
BILL PERKINS OCTET
let me see - one hundred years from today - song of the islands - zing zang - as the reveled - for dancers only - just a child - when you're smiling (1956)
BUD SHANK QUINTET
blues in the night - bojangles of harlem - brother can you spare a dime - it's a new world - crazy rhythm (1956)
GERRY MULLIGAN SEPTET
barbara's theme - black nightgown - frisco club - i want to live - life's a funny thing - night watch - theme from i want to live (1958)
ART PEPPER + ELEVEN
anthropology - donna lee - groovin' high - shaw' nuff (1959)
BUD SHANK QUARTET
as time goes by - cabin in the sky - dream dancing - el wacko - i've told ev're little star - no moe - that old feeling - whisper not (1986)
BUD SHANK SEXTET
blue woods - colors of despair - drum song - gliders - incognito - railroad - second nature - techno tropic - tomorrow's rainbow - funcused blues
BUD SHANK-REIN DE GRAAFF
my funny valentine (2000)

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4 Comments:

Blogger Jo said...

Thank you, Hans, for this artist profile of Bud Shank - a great sax player and an important figure in introducing the Brazilian flavour in a jazz context together with Laurindo Almeida - their co-work on the two volumes of 'Braziliance' from the 50's and later again in the L.A. Four has left a legacy of music that will survive, I'm convinced.

Jo

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Baker said...

On the day before he died, he was in a San Diego recording studio as a musician for hire.

“He knew it was his last shot,” his wife said. “The doctors told him if he went he would die. And he went.”

Baker
(Organissimo Jazz Forum)

6:19 PM  
Blogger Bruno Leicht said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:50 AM  
Anonymous MacTenor said...

Loved his playing from the Stan Kenton days. RIP

Mactenor (Ohio)

(Sax on the web forum)

6:03 AM  

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