West Coast Jazz
West Coast Jazz ruled the 1950s. There is much crossover between West Coast jazz and its Eastern Cool and Bop cousins, but the West Coasters enjoyed knocking down the borders between newer jazz, Swing, and even classical music. During and after World War II, scores of jazz musicians joined such L.A. natives as Chet Baker, Dexter Gordon, and Art Pepper in California. The more relaxed West Coast attitude was reflected by Gerry Mulligan (one of the architects of Miles Davis' seminal Birth of the Cool album), who caused a sensation with his piano-less quartet -- Mulligan and trumpeter Chet Baker's trademark floating, intertwining countermelodies can be heard in their hit version of "My Funny Valentine." Meanwhile, up the coast in San Francisco, Dave Brubeck and Cal Tjader had put Fantasy Records on the map. Brubeck brought Avant-Garde classical theory and adventurous time signatures to jazz and had a huge hit with, "Take Five," while Tjader mixed Cool Jazz with Latin rhythms to score big with "Soul Sauce." The movement was over by the mid-'60s, with most artists forced to either move to New York or join recording studios full-time in order to maintain steady work.