Jazz Notes: Howard Rumsey Connection

People used to ask Paul Rumsey if he was related to Howard Rumsey when he lived in Torrance Calif. There is a connection between Paul and Howard but he ain't telling.  Anyway here is the Howard Rumsey story if you are interested in the West Coast Jazz movement of the 50s, '60s and it all centres around the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach.

Howard Rumsey (November 7, 1917 – July 15, 2015) was an American jazz double bassist and bandleader, best known for his role in the West Coast jazz scene in the 1950s. He was a key figure in popularizing the "cool jazz" sound and played a significant role in establishing Los Angeles as a jazz hub.

Rumsey was born in Brawley, California, and began his musical career as a bassist in the late 1930s. He played with various big bands and orchestras, including the Stan Kenton Orchestra, before co-founding the Lighthouse All-Stars in 1949. The Lighthouse All-Stars became the house band at the Lighthouse Café, a renowned jazz club in Hermosa Beach, California, and their performances helped define the West Coast jazz sound.

The Lighthouse All-Stars featured many notable jazz musicians, including Shorty Rogers, Bud Shank, Shelly Manne, and Jimmy Giuffre. Their music was characterized by a more relaxed and laid-back style compared to the fast-paced bebop of the East Coast. Rumsey's solid bass playing provided a steady foundation for the group's improvisations, and his leadership helped foster a sense of collaboration and camaraderie among the musicians.

Under Rumsey's guidance, the Lighthouse All-Stars recorded several albums and gained national recognition. They toured extensively and became influential in popularizing West Coast jazz. Rumsey's commitment to showcasing local talent and providing a platform for up-and-coming musicians contributed to the growth of the Los Angeles jazz scene.

Beyond his work with the Lighthouse All-Stars, Rumsey continued to perform and record with other jazz musicians throughout his career. He collaborated with artists such as June Christy, Art Pepper, and Shorty Rogers, leaving his mark on numerous recordings.

Howard Rumsey's contribution to jazz and the West Coast scene was recognized through various honors and awards. In 2005, he was inducted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame, and in 2011, the Los Angeles Jazz Society honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Howard Rumsey passed away on July 15, 2015, at the age of 97. His legacy as a bassist, bandleader, and influential figure in the development of West Coast jazz remains significant, and his contributions continue to be appreciated by jazz enthusiasts worldwide.