'Birth of The Cool' in concert on KPLU's Jazz Northwest
High on any list of all-time classic jazz albums is the 1949-50 Miles Davis album "Birth of The Cool" which grew out of an informal composers/ arrangers workshop with Gil Evans, Gerry Mulligan and John Lewis among others. That album continues to be influential among jazz musicians today, one of them being trombonist Andy Clausen who has studied these recordings and arrangements extensively. Last summer, he organized a concert of this music which was presented by Earshot Jazz at The Chapel performance space in Seattle.
In the critical role of trumpeter Miles Davis is Andy Clausen's fellow Juilliard student, Riley Mulherkar. The two were cross-town rivals in high school when they played in jazz bands at their respective high schools, Andy at Roosevelt and Riley at Garfield. The other musicians include some of the area's most prominent jazz artists, Tom Varner, French horn, Mark Taylor, alto sax, James DeJoie, baritone sax, John Hill, tuba, Marc Seales, piano, Phil Sparks, bass and Matt Jorgensen, drums.
The selections are presented in the same order in which they appeared on the original album, and the concert was recorded with minimal micing to preserve the spirit of the original performance and the rich acoustics of The Chapel. Jazz Northwest is recorded and produced by Jim Wilke exclusively for 88.5 KPLU, airing on Sundays at 1 PM PDT. The program is also available as a podcast at kplu.org after the broadcast.