This 1998 OJC CD reissues a very elusive item, the first 10" LP released by Contemporary. The six selections by the Lighthouse All-Stars (actually their fourth recording and third for Contemporary) were recorded live at the Lighthouse. At the time, the band had quite a notable lineup (trumpeter Shorty Rogers, trombonist Milt Bernhart, both Jimmy Giuffre and Bob Cooper on tenors, pianist Russ Freeman, bassist Howard Rumsey, and drummer Shelly Manne). The recording quality is not as good as studio records of the era, but the musicians all play well; Teddy Edwards' "Sunset Eyes" is a highlight. Shortly after, Rogers and Manne would depart to lead their own bands and Giuffre would join Rogers. This CD concludes with three previously unreleased numbers from September 1953 (including a 12-minute version of "Four Others") that feature a mostly different version of the All-Stars: Rolf Ericson and Chet Baker, who were sitting in on trumpets; altoist Bud Shank; Cooper back on tenor; an unidentified pianist; leader/bassist Rumsey; and drummer Max Roach. Collectors of West Coast jazz and completists will want this CD even if it falls short of being essential.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow