Thursday, July 29, 2010

Marty Paich: Creator of the West Coast sound

Marty Paich: Creator of the West Coast sound (English) - Marty Paich: Schepper van de West Coast Jazz (Nederlands)

A prominent, capable, frequently recorded member of the West Coast clique! (Leonard Feather)
MARTY PAICH: Creator of the West Coast sound
Hans Koert

Marty Paich was born in Oakland (Cal.) January 1925 and passed away in Santa Ynez (Cal.) on his ranch August 1995. He is one of those musicians that played an important role in modern music, especially the so-called West Coast Jazz, most as a composer, arranger, but also as a sideman and accompanist of great jazz musicians, wh
o made their names, like Art Pepper ......... In fact I learned about Marty Paich while listening to a cheap reissue of a nice set of recordings by House of Jazz, originally recorded August 1956 on the Tampa label of the Marty Paich Quartet featuring Art Pepper. He became known for his numerous compositions and arrangements which helped to shape the West Coast sound .......
Original cover of the Tampa Marty Paich Quartet featuring Art Pepper album. ( 1956)
Marty Paich started as a kid on the accordion, but soon changed to piano. As a young boy he had founded his own band and played dozens of gigs. After high school he went to several west coast conservatories before he was graduated in 1951 magna cum laude with a master's degree in composition. His first recordings, except a registration of a jam with Milt Bernhart, Bob Enevoldsen, Jack Montrose and some more in the Trade Wind club in Inglewood Ca March 1952, was with the Dan Terry Orchestra (June 1952).
Shorty Rogers, Shelly Manne and Marty Paich ( 1952)
In the early 1950s he found himself a living as arranger for numerous bands. He was involved with the music for the Walt Disney animated film Lady Is a Tramp, toured with Peggy Lee and played the piano in Shorty Rogers bands ( named as Boots Brown and his Blockbusters). He was one of the members of Shorty Rogers Orchestra that recorded the album Cool and Crazy March 1953. Two weeks later Marty Paich was part of the Shelly Manne Men in the rhythm section for a couple of Shelly Manne 78rpm, later released on an LP entitled The West Coast Sound. He was also present at numerous Lighthouse All Star recordings, the band of the well known west coast venue near Los Angeles at Hermosa Beach. He made numerous arrangements for musicians like Stan Kenton, Ella Fitzgerald, Chet Baker, Anita O'Day and Ray Brown to list some. During the 1950s he made some recordings under his own name like Jazz Music For The Birds and the Hep Cats ( what a great title !) ( January 1955) and the one that fascinated me, The Marty Paich Quartet featuring Art Pepper.
Enjoy the tune What's Right For You from that album ............

It's the first album on which Art Pepper and Marty Paich play together. When I first met Art he was the greatest saxophone player that I had heard. Far above anybody else. I couldn't believe how beautiful he played. Marty refers in the interview to the battle between the fans of the East Coast Jazz and West Coast jazz. Art to me was the sound of West Coast jazz, that melodic style he played, rather than the hard-driving New York style that a lot of players were playing. I just fell in love with him the first time I heard him. And then eventually we worked together. ( quote: Marty Paich in Art and Laurie Pepper's Straight Life: The Story of Art Pepper) (1979). On this album Art Pepper is the major artists and he plays some great solos in tunes like Over The Rainbow, You And The Night And The Music ( what a great tune) and All The Things You Are. Three of the tracks are Marty Paich compositions, like Abstract Art, of course dedicated to Art Pepper and Marty's Blues.
Art Pepper ( 1925 -1982)
Love to share with you the tune All The Things You Are by the Marty Paich Quartet ( Art Pepper alto saxophone - Marty Paich piano - Buddy Clark bass and Frank Capp drums) - Hollywood August 1956).

When Art Pepper recorded for the first time with Marty Paich, August 1956, he was just released from the Fede
ral Correctional Facility on Terminal Island where he had stayed for almost a year. Art had signed a contract with Contemporary Records December 1956 and in January 1959 Art makes his first record, featuring his friend Marty Paich, the start of an intense cooperation. One of the highlights is Art Pepper's recording for the album "Modern Jazz Classics" - a classic album - with his Eleven, directed and arranged by Marty Paich. Essential Music for all serious jazz collections ( Scott Yanow - All music Guide To Jazz).
Cover of the 1959 Art Pepper + Eleven album.
In January 1956 Marty Paich recorded with his Dektette featuring Mel Tormé, a cooperation which would last for decades. More and more Marty Paich became involved with the more popular music scene with artists like Andy Williams, Al Hirt, Dinah Shore and he was often asked to make arrangements for "with string" recordings for artists from Barbara Streisand to Michael Jackson. In the second half of the 1990s he retired and did some projects. He passed away August 1995 in his ranch on Baseline Road in Santa Ynez (California).
Love to join with you a medley of tunes made by Marty Paich.

The contemporary New (!) edition of the Encyclopedia of Jazz (1960) by Leonard Feather labels him as: A prominent, capable, frequently recorded member of the West Coast clique. ( p. 374)
Hans Koert

The record shops, if you can find one, are glutted with cheap reissues from the 1950s and 1960s - Jazz is in the sale ....... It feels like fight a losing battle, although jazz fans can grasp their chances. I bought a cheap prized Art Pepper box in which I found a reissue of the Marty Paich Quartet ( featuring Art Pepper), which originally was released on Tampa. The sound of Art Pepper fascinated me, but I became interested in his piano player Marty Paich, whose name is closely involved in West Coast jazz albums, like the great Art Pepper + Eleven "Modern Jazz Classic". A good reason to put Marty Paich in the spotlights ..... Keep Swinging loves to point you to almost forgotten jazz musicians or composers, If you love to follow Keep Swinging, ask for its newsletter.

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