In 1955 the difference between East/West Coast jazz was a hot topic, with critics and fans capable of taking zealous musical alliances with one or the other. The title of this disc, West Coast Jazz, was conceived as a joke, considering all musicians involved were originally from the East Coast and did not play exclusively in the laid-back, commercially profitable, cool style, as pigeonholed by some. Stan Getz was in California for his part in the film the Benny Goodman Story, where he picked up a week long gig at Zardi's in Hollywood. The pickup band that greeted him featured a great rhythm section: Lou Levy (piano), Leroy Vinnegar (bass), and Shelly Manne (drums), along with Conte Candoli (trumpet). These musicians connected with Getz immediately, having crossed paths previously. Impressed with this lineup, he took them into the studio to record West Coast Jazz. Generally unlike West Coast jazz of the time, the rapid group interplay with energized bop solos, still stand out particularly on "S-H-I-N-E" and Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night in Tunisia." Coupled with the album's original six tracks, the Verve Master Edition collects several previously released outtakes from these sessions.
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AllMusic Review by Al Campbell