While Los Angeles is the power center of the popular music industry, it's always been a backwater as far as jazz is concerned. That's not because L.A. hasn't produced more than it's share of great players: a roll call of major players who made L.A. their home at some point would include Art Pepper, Dexter Gordon, Ornette Coleman, Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, and Charles Mingus, among many others. L.A.'s second-class status in the jazz world probably has more to do with the fact that it's about as geographically distant from the music's capitol -- New York City -- as is possible while still remaining on the same continent. Given the fact that, over the last several decades, New York critics have become probably the most provincial in jazzdom, it's little wonder that so many great California-based musicians are less critically vaunted than ...
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