One of the leading figures of West Coast jazz, Shorty Rogers' decision to stop performing and switch to full-time studio work in 1962 marked the end of its golden era. Rogers played with a number of big bands in the late 1940s, and began to attract attention as an arranger while working with Woody Herman. Stan Kenton then hired him away from Herman and Rogers' compositions and arrangements for Kenton made him as much of a star as any of Kenton's soloists. Rogers left Kenton and pulled together a small group that included Art Pepper, Shelley Manne, Jimmy Giuffre, and Hampton Hawes to record Modern Sounds for Capitol. Rogers' tight and innovative arrangements on this recording are considered by many to be as influential as Gil Evans' for Miles Davis' small group on Birth of the Cool.
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