Saturday, November 25, 2017

Stan Kenton Presents Bob Cooper - Group Activity

This generous English import LP has five Capitol sessions from 1954 (18 selections in all) that are led by either Bob Cooper or Bill Holman. The cool-toned but hard-driving tenor Coop is heard on his first two dates as a leader, jamming through standards and swinging originals with Bud Shank (who surprisingly sticks here exclusively to baritone), pianist Claude Williamson, guitarist Howard Roberts, either Joe Mondragon or Curtis Counce on bass and Shelly Manne or Stan Levey on drums. The remainder of this album features ten compositions by Bill Holman who not only wrote for the octet but takes some fine tenor solos. His sidemen include Don Fagerquist or Nick Travis and Stu Williamson on trumpets, valve trombonist Bob Enevoldsen, altoist Herb Geller, baritonist Bob Gordon, Curtis Counce or Max Bennett on bass and drummer Stan Levey. The generally exciting music shows that the stereotype of most West Coast jazz as bloodless was quite inaccurate. Well worth searching for.
Scott Yanow

Source :

Bob Cooper
Group Activity


1 The Way You Look Tonight (Kern, Fields)  3:15
2 Polka Dots And Moonbeams (Van Heusen, Burke)  3:02
3 Solo Plight (Cooper)  3:17
4 Lisbon Lady (Cooper)  2:41
5 Group Activity (Cooper)  2:33
6 She Didn’t Say “Yes” (Kern, Harbach)  2:39
7 When The Sun Comes Out (Arlen, Koehler)  3:13
8 Excursion (Cooper)  3:42
9 Hot Boy (Cooper)  3:40
10 It Don’t Mean A Thing (Ellington, Mills)  3:06
11 Strike Up The Band (Geshwin, Gershwin)  2:51
12 Sunset (Cooper)  3:39
13 Hallelujah (Youmans, Robin, Grey)  2:44
14 Deep In A Dream (VanHeusen, DeLange)  3:12
15 It’s Delovely (Porter)  2:16
16 Drawing Lines (Cooper)  2:36
17 All Or Nothing At All (Lawrence, Altman)  3:10
18 ‘Round Midnight (Monk, Williams, Haningen)  3:21
19 Tongue Twister (Cooper)  5:14


[# 1-4]
Bob Cooper - ts
Bud Shank - bs
Howard Roberts - g
Joe Mondragon - b
Shelly Manne - dr
Recorded in Hollywood ; May 14, 1954
[# 5-8]
Same as above, except
Claude Williamson - p, is added
Curtis Counce - b, replaces Mondragon
Stan Levey - dr, replaces Manne
Recorded in Hollywood ; July 30, 1954
[# 9-12]
Stu Williamson - tp & tb
Bob Enevoldsen - tb, ts, b cl
Bob Cooper - engl hrn, ts & ob
Bud Shank - as & ts
Jimmy Giuffre - cl, ts & bs
Claude Williamson - p
Max Bennett - b
Stan Levey - dr
Recorded in Hollywood ; April 26, 1955
[# 13-16]
John Graas - fr hrn
Bob Enevoldsen - tb, ts & b cl
Bob Cooper - engl hrn, ts & ob
Jimmy Giuffre - cl, ts & bs
Claude Williamson - p
Joe Mondragon - b
Shelly Manne - dr
Recorded in Hollywood ; June 13, 1955
[# 17-19]
Same as above, except
Ralph Peña - b, replaces Mondragon
Recorded in Hollywood ; June 14, 1955
When Bob Cooper (1925-1993) made his record debut as a leader in 1954, he was already well known for his solo work on tenor sax with Stan Kenton. He was articulate and original in both writing and playing. Cooper and his associates take us here through a wide range of musical adventures, from a slow subtle ballad, to clever contrapuntal invention, to swinging dynamic improvisation. All the arrangements and four of the compositions are by Cooper’s own pen. These recordings feature some of his most swinging, best-sounding tenor on record. Here are winds blowing out of the west, carrying the sound of Jazz, zesty as a salt breeze off the California beach, kaleidoscopic, like spindrift.

Source :


getzoot said...

And more thanks!

wightdj said...

I don't know this session, but sure looks good. Thanks.

dreadco said...

Hot boy is my favorite.
Thank you!

Philo said...

Bob Cooper - Group Activity (1954)

Just found this by chance while looking for something else.

Very enjoyable music.

cvllos said...

Well, Melanchthon, still active, thanks God!
And thanks to you, too!
Excursion is a very driving theme. It shows how West Coast Style is still attractive, for their ensembles, solos, arranges, etc.

neil said...

Late on this, but most welcome all the same; many thanks, mel...

FrankDell said...

And for this, too. Merci bien.

Preslives said...

Nice post, although I can't seem to get the usual password to work for this one. It there a different password for this item?

glinka21 said...

Thanks, Mel!

Prof. Yaffle said...

Many thanks

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank you

AmyBRAINS said...

Nice album!
Many thanks, Melanchthon.

deGallo said...

Very nice! Thank you.

Tom Billisson said...

Many thanks.

marty123 said...

Thanks a lot.

musician3 said...

AMAZING...............................THANK YOU FOR ALL

Axel.T. said...

Wonderful post with great players - just timeless jazz.
Thank you so much for this one.

Historicus said...

Great, many thanks!!!!

bventure said...

Many thanks for reposting this. Odd that Yanow fails to mention Jimmy Giuffre in his review. His name attarcted me to this post in the first place (Jimmy Giuffre's, not Scott Yanow's!).

Kovina Kris said...

Looks great. Thank you!

Melanchthon said...

tdelyon said...

Thanks a lot !

bventure said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Fabulous music, fabulous artists! Thank you dear MM!

DEEP said...


Olde Edo said...

Thank you!

Porer said...

Thank you very much