“There are so many chords, coming at you so fast…”
That’s what jazz pianist Bill Anschell had to say when asked what’s cool about “Birth of the Cool”. After the soundcheck, while warm-ups wound down, Bill and a few other members of the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra nonet weighed in on on the subject for this video.
Bari player Bill Ramsay, who was actually around when these arrangements were opening ears and influencing minds, offered, “the harmonic structure sounded so much hipper than a big band doing it. You can hear all six horns”. Trombonist David Marriott adds, “It’s so happening, and sounds so big, yet we don’t have to pound it out”. Trumpet player Jay Thomas observes, “It’s real melodic, straight eights, skillful writing”.
But Clarence Acox, co-director of the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, set it all (and Jay) up. “What’s cool is Miles Davis. He was the essence of cool.” Thank you, Clarence. Watch the rest.