Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

RUMSEY, Howard

(b 7 November 1917, Brawley CA; d 15 July 2015, Newport Beach CA) He began on piano, then drums, finally took up bass. He worked in Vido Musso's band with pianist Stan Kenton and became a founder member of Kenton's first band, featured on 'Concerto For Doghouse' '42. He freelanced with various bands on West Coast; began jam sessions at the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, CA '49, the Lighthouse All Stars or guests sitting in were a roll call of '50s jazz: Shelly Manne, Shorty Rogers, Bob Cooper, Jimmy Giuffre, Victor Feldman, Max Roach, Hampton Hawes, Bud Shank, Barney Kessel, Conte Candoli, Frank Rosolino, Sonny Clark, Lennie Niehaus, Maynard Ferguson, drummer Stan Levey, bassist Monte Budwig, pianist Marty Paich (later famous studio arranger), many more. Many albums on Contemporary '52-7 began with 10-inch LPs, half a dozen 12-inchers included Music For Lighthouse Keeping '57.

At Last! Miles Davis And The Lighthouse All Stars '53 was issued on on Boplicity '86, with Shank, Roach, Lorraine Geller on piano, Rolf Ericson on trumpet. CD Mexican Passport on Contemporary is an excellent compilation of '52-6 tracks showing just what cooking music West Coast jazz could be. Howard Rumsey Lighthouse All Stars And Charlie Persip's Jazz Statesmen '57 on Liberty had Rumsey in the control room, including Candoli, Rosolino, Cooper, Lee Morgan; two different rhythm sections on various tracks, pianist Dick Shreve with Levey and bassist Wilfred Middlebrooks (b 17 July 1933, Chatanooga TN; later accompanied Ella Fitzgerald; d 13 March 2008, Pasadena CA; ) alternating with Wynton Kelly, drummer Persip and Red Mitchell: said to be one of the forgotten gems of the era. Jazz Rolls Royce '57 was a 16-piece edition of the All Stars recorded live, issued on Lighthouse, Omega, Fresh Sound. The last All Stars album on Philips was recorded '61-2; as co-owner, manager, music director Rumsey had big-name combos, big bands from c.'62, still playing with house combo several nights a week; he expanded to a plusher club Concerts by the Sea in Redondo Beach '72.

With the Village Vanguard in NYC, opened in 1935 by Max Gordon (d 11 May 1989, NYC, aged 86) the Lighthouse was one of the longest-running jazz venues in USA; but by August 1992 it was a karaoke joint, while the Vanguard was still going.