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Coop de Graas (Shorty Rogers)

Shorty Rogers wrote "Coop de Graas" in 1953 for that year's version of the "Shorty Rogers Orchestra, Featuring the Giants"—a hard-swinging nine-piece band featuring Rogers (trumpet), Harry Betts (trombone), John Graas (French horn), Gene Englund (tuba), Art Pepper (alto sax), Bob Cooper (baritone sax), Mary Paich (piano), Curtis Counce (bass), and Shelly Manne (drums), with added trumpeters Conrad Gozzo, Maynard Ferguson, Pete Condoli, and John Howell. Although the core group (the Giants) had almost exactly the same instrumentation as the 1949 Miles Davis-led Birth of the Cool ensemble (with its haunting arrangements by Gerry Mulligan, John Carisi, John Lewis, and Gil Evans), the expanded Rogers' group is a driving big band that swings like mad. The composition was named for tenor saxophonist Bob Cooper (sax) and John de Graas (French horn), who were featured in a virtual duet in the Rogers arrangement.

The Safe Sax version is voiced for the Charlie Barnet sound (soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone sax). At the end of the sample (which consists of the last eight bars of the first chorus), we hear the opening of Steve Koerner's solo on soprano sax.

Safe Sax musicians include Steve Koerner (lead soprano sax), Ken Partyka (alto sax), Ian Robertson (tenor sax), Glenn Broadhead (baritone sax), Bill Reda (guitar), Michael Daly (bass), and Bill Byan (drums).

Recorded in 2008 by Nick Eipers and his students at Columbia College (Chicago).