Dave Brubeck on the concept of "West Coast Jazz"


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SS: In the '40s and '50s, jazz groups out of California were often lumped within a genre called west coast or cool jazz, and you have certainly been associated with that concept. Is that something that you embraced or rejected? What was your view of this whole idea of a cool school, a west coast school of jazz?

DB: No idea. It was something that somebody else made up, and we were innocent. We didn't try to be cool school. We were just basically San Francisco guys that respected each other. And you see, geographically, jazz had moved from New Orleans, to Chicago, to St. Louis, to Kansas City.

So, geographically kind of dominates whether there's going to be a movement or a school coming out of that, like if Charlie Parker's in Kansas City, and there's some other guys that he really respects, and then they start playing together and trying to be together. And, it's usually the environment that has a lot to do with it.

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