MONTROSE Jack Memorial

I just learned that Jack died a month ago. He was a really great tenor player and arranger.
You'll get plenty of his music here.Jack MONTROSE (1928-2006)

Tenor saxophonist Jack Montrose, a key figure in the 1950's West Coast jazz movement, died on February 7, 2006, at the age of 77. Further details are pending.
At times fans and even journalists confused Montrose with New York tenorman J.R. "Jake" Monterose, who played with Charles Mingus and Kenny Dorham in the 50's. Their styles were significantly different, however; "West Coast Jack" conveyed the essence of California cool. A graduate of L.A. State College, Montrose’s early resumé included work with the big bands of Shorty Rogers and Tom Talbert, Shelly Manne and His Men, Art Pepper (Surf Ride, Chili Pepper), Chet Baker (Grey December, Big Band) and Lennie Niehaus. He also wrote arrangements for Baker, Clifford Brown and the Dave Pell Octet. These sessions placed him firmly within the West Coast vanguard.
In 1954 Montrose played on Meet Mr. Gordon, a date led by his great fellow (and sometimes rival) saxman, Bob Gordon, on baritone. The two co-led a 1955 date, Jack Montrose with Bob Gordon; that same year Montrose released an album with his own sextet on Pacific Jazz. Two other classic sessions followed on RCA, The Horn’s Full and Blues and Vanilla. And also in 1955 for Pacific Jazz Jack Montrose Sextet. Montrose backed Mel Tormé with the Marty Paich Dek-tette (Lulu’s Back in Town, Sings Fred Astaire, The Tormé Touch) and worked with the now-obscure trumpeter Jack Millman before the West Coast jazz scene fell apart.
Like most of his contemporaries, by the early 1960's Montrose found himself surviving through studio jobs and strip-club gigs in Los Angeles. He spent time in Las Vegas, its show bands the new mecca for former California jazzmen, but did no recording for more than a decade. He resurfaced in 1977 on drummer Frank Butler’s comeback album Stepper (Xanadu), and in 1986 joined his old friend, pianist Pete Jolly, on his own comeback, Better Late Than Never (Slingshot). In 1990 Montrose cut an album for the Holt label, Let’s Do It, with compositions by label founder David Holt and arrangements by Montrose. The band included Jolly, Bill Watrous, Chuck Berghofer and Nick Martinis. He then performed with Si Zentner’s swing orchestra in 1991 on Alive in Las Vegas (Klavier).
Montrose’s most recent appearances on record were mostly ensemble roles: A Lot of Us by the Walt Boenig Big Band (Dynamic), and the American Jazz Institute’s Clifford Brown Project (Capri, both 2003) under the direction of Mark Masters. The latter album included some of Montrose’s original 1950s arrangements for Brown. In January 2001 Masters and AJI had invited Montrose to perform in an all-star tribute at Claremont-McKenna College, with Bill Perkins, Conte Candoli and Milcho Leviev among the guests. Montrose also paid homage to Lee Konitz in an AJI concert in October 2001. In May 2003 he took part in "Contemporary Concepts", a West Coast jazz reminiscence hosted by Ken Poston’s L.A. Jazz Institute.

Todd S. Jenkins

I'll post the 5 lp's Jack MONTROSE recorded between 54 and 57. Absolutely essential music. West Coast Jazz lover or not. I mean essential music for everyone. You'll also have the chance to listen to the fabulous baritone sax of Bob GORDON. If he'd live longer, he could have gone to the highest rank, he was already very close to. Sadly, he died at 27 (yes, twenty-seven!) in a car crash in 1955. From GORDON, there is only a very few more tracks than those with MONTROSE. I'll post them later... For the time being, enjoy this wonderful music... and tell me your feelings.


winscom2001 said...

All the LPs are excellent. I've had the records since they were issued. Don't be afraid to download and be sure to leave a comment.


GIBSON L5 ( RAZ ) said...

you made me very happy !!!
thanks alot man !!!
west coast jazz , yeah :-)
all the best

Anonymous said...

This guy is a new one to me - great sound, though. Will come back and listen to more by him soon. How do I register with you. I am new to the whole blog thing.

Thanks for the sounds


tavanadaniel said...

SOULMAN, you don't need to register, the blog is open. When it gonna be closed, just send a mail and you'll get an invitation. See ya. Daniel

Anonymous said...

Thanks Daniel. I'll defintely do that.