(Gerald Wilson - at 91, no stopping in sight)
I was thinking today about what a great Jazz scene there was on the West Coast in the 1940s, 50s and early 60s. Certainly in Los Angeles and the famous Central Avenue scene. There have been some books written and a few compilations that introduce an audience to this rich vein of musical history, but so far nothing that really dives in and explores the extraordinary talent that showed up and gigged around L.A. during those days.
One of those extraordinary greats was/is Gerald Wilson. Still going strong at 91 (last I heard he was music Director for the Monterey Jazz Festival), Wilson has hosted a veritable who's who of Jazz greats over the years.
This track, Mambo Mexicano, comes from a series of sessions he did in 1954 with his band that included Clark Terry, Paul Gonsalves and Teddy Edwards. This pre-dates his long association with Pacific Jazz, and is an indication of which direction he was headed.
Things were definitely happening on the West Coast.