Friday, May 3, 2013

Bill Perkins on Stage

In 1998, Capitol (which owns Blue Note) reissued six Pacific Jazz CDs filled with music from the mid-1950s, the prime period of cool West Coast jazz. For this set, tenor saxophonist Bill Perkins is showcased in an all-star octet also including altoist Bud Shank, baritonist Jack Nimitz, trumpeter Stu Williamson, trombonist Carl Fontana, pianist Russ Freeman, bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Mel Lewis. Perk's tone is heard throughout at its coolest (influenced by Lester Young but distinctive within the style) and there are plenty of short spots for the other key voices. The program includes five swing-era songs including "Song of the Islands," "When You're Smiling" and two versions of Harry "Sweets" Edison's "Let Me See" plus three newer pieces, but no bop standards. At least as important as the solos are the arrangements of Perkins, Bill Holman, Lennie Niehaus and Johnny Mandel. Their use of restrained colors, the quiet rhythm section and advanced harmonies on a whole give one a definitive look at West Coast Jazz of the mid-1950s. Recommended.
Scott Yanow

Source :

Bill Perkins
on Stage


1 Song of the Islands (King) 5:25
2 One Hundred Years from Today (Washington, Young) 4:52
3 Zing! Zang ! (Perkins) 6:55
4 Let Me See (Basie, Edison) 3:37
5 For Dancers Only (Oliver, Raye, Schoen) 5:56
6 Just a Child (Mandel) 5:00
7 As They Reveled (Holman) 3:53
8 When You're Smiling (Fisher, Goodwin, Shay) 5:08
9 Let Me See (Basie, Edison) 2:37

Arranged by Bill Perkins [# 4, 5-6 & 9] ; Bill Holman [# 1 & 7] ; Lennie Niehaus [# 2 & 8]
& Johnny Mandel [# 6]

Bud Shank - as
Bill Perkins - ts
Jack Nimitz - b. cl & bs
Stu Williamson - tp & tb
Carl Fontana - tb
Russ Freeman - p
Red Mitchell - b
Mel Lewis - dr

Recorded at the Music Box Theatre, Los Angeles ; February 9 [# 1-4 & 9] & February 16 [# 5-8], 1956


Anonymous said...



PlantDoctor53 said...

Thank you - this looks good!

neil said...

Many thanks, Mel, for the opportunity to upgrade from mp3...

Orbyt said...

Highly recommended. Great post.

Adrian said...

Thanks a lot.
This is my first album with Bill.

reindeer man said...

Thanks for the upgrade. Great record.

Philo said...

I have this album & I agree with Orbyt: highly recommended.

Classic "West Coast" arrangements & performances.

Sound quality is good. Ron McMaster did the digital transfer & restoration with his usual high competence.

Eric said...

I am not prone to hyperbole but this is one of my favorite albums of all time. Just a Child is one of the most beautiful ballad performances ever. I eagerly await the extra track.

Axel.T. said...

Terrific, absolutely terrific album by Bill Perkins and the west coast players of the 1950s.
Best Regards,

jazzcat1228 said...

Thank you for another great share!

Baron said...

Thanks Mel - hadn't spotted this one.

duck said...

always thanks Mel, it's a welcome upgrade for me. Currently in a Jack Nimitz mode, such a wonderful player.
Seems he only did two under his name and neither is available, maybe someone can help?

Melanchthon said...