Shorty Rogers: Re-Entry - JazzWax

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February 09, 2010


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Larry Kart

Trumpeter's egos! While I'm sure that a case can be made that it would have been nice for Shew to be given a solo spot on that album, I lean the other way for several reasons. Shorty's fans would expect to hear his own distinctive playing (quite different in style from Shew's), and Shorty might also have felt that Shew's at times rather bravura-like approach might show him up, given Shorty's doubts about the state of his own chops and the fact that he'd been getting help in that area from Shew. If I were Shew, I'd have been grateful for all those TV gigs and called it even.

Bill Forbes

Shorty's 1980's renaissance was keenly felt here in the UK. The RCA re-issue of his 1950's big band classics, "Blues Express", shot to the top of the British jazz record charts and his tour with NYJO created quite a stir. I was lucky enough to see them at the Davenport Theatre in Stockport, Greater Manchester. I recall there was one new composition, which Shorty, well aware of the jazz connotations of the venue's name, called "Davenport" - a wonderful composition and arrangement, which was probably never recorded.

Denis Ouellet

Well I will take any Shorty Rogers's solos. All the time any time.
A wonderful musician.

Regarding the comment about "my ego" in not soloing on Shorty's album, it had nothing to do with an ego issue. it was more that I just loved soloing especially with that rhythm section. Some of the other players such as Watrous, Shank, and Perk offered their solos to me via Shorty but he always said no. Maybe he WAS afraid of being "cut" but it has never been my style to do that to anyone especially Shorty. I wouldn't have tried to show him up, no way! But I understand your point in "guessing" at what went down. Better luck next time!

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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