JJ 03/59: Howard Rumsey’s Lighthouse All-Stars, Vol. 4

First published Jazz Journal, March 1959


The oboe and flute duets by Bob Cooper and Bud Shank have become quite a tradition at the Lighthouse, one of the few remaining jazz spots in the Los Angeles area these days. The eight selections by these two, Cooper doubling on English horn, were recorded in 1953 and were previously issued on Vogue LDC 146.

Personally I don’t much care about the thin emasculated tone of flutes and oboes as applied to jazz, though I can appreciate the musical worth and fine technique of both players in this instance. All the same, except for “Albatross”, which swings neatly with some nice piano from Claude Williamson and “Bags’ Groove”, it all sounds like arty-crafty film background music.

The remaining selections were recorded in 1956 by Buddy Collette, also on flute, plus rhythm section. Though the conception is similar in some cases to the previous session, I find these very much more acceptable in a jazz sense, and Buddy to be much the most talented musician of the three.

“A Bit of Basie” features Sonny Clark at the piano and both this and “Swing House” reveal Buddy’s considerable technique more than adequately.
Peter Tanner

(a) Aquarium; (a) Warm Winds; (a) Night In Tunisia; (a) Albatross; (b) Blue Sands; (b) Swing House (20 min) – (a) Still Life; (a) Bass Groove; (a) Hermosa Summer; (b) A Bit Of Basie; (b) Waikikian; (a) Happy Town (19½ min)
(a) Bob Cooper (oboe & English horn); Bud Shank (flute & alto flute): Claude Williamson (p); Max Roach (d); Howard Rumsey (bs). December, 1953. (b) Buddy Collette (flute & alto flute); Stan Levey (d); Sonny Clark (p); Howard Rumsey (bs). September 25, 1956.
Vogue LAC 12146. 12inLP. 38s. 3d.