This week on Night Lights it’s “Jazz Studio 3 & 4: John Graas and Jack Millman,” two more entries in Decca’s mid-1950s Jazz Studio series. John Graas was a classically-trained French horn player who worked with several famous big bands in the 1940s and who studied with both Lennie Tristano and West Coast music guru Wesley La Violette. In the 1950s he was active on the West Coast jazz scene and also did a stint on Liberace’s TV program. In this program we’ll hear selections from his “Jazz Studio 3″ album, including his compositions “6/4 and Even” and excerpts from his “Symphony 1 in F Minor,” as well as a quartet version of “My Buddy” with baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan sitting in.
We’ll also hear music from trumpeter Jack Millman’s “Jazz Studio 4.” Millman is another lesser-known West Coast jazz figure who led several album dates in the late 1950s; like Graas, he was steeped in classical influence and also worked with Stan Kenton’s orchestra at one time. “Jazz Studio 4″ consists of Millman originals arranged by Jimmy Giuffre, Bill Holman, Pete Rugolo, and others.