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Shorty Rogers

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Milton “Shorty” Rogers (April 14, 1924–November 7, 1994), born Milton Rajonsky in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, was a Jewish american musician. He was one of the principal creators of West Coast jazz. Rogers played both the trumpet and flugelhorn, and was in demand for his skills as an arranger. Rogers worked first as a professional musician with Will Bradley and Red Norvo. From 1947 to 1949, he worked extensively with Woody Herman and in 1950 and 1951 he played with Stan Kenton.

Rogers appeared on the 1954 Shelly Manne album The Three and the Two along with Jimmy Giuffre. Much of the music he recorded with Giuffre showed his experimental side, resulting in an early form of avant-garde jazz. He also made notable recordings with Art Pepper and Andre Previn, among others.

From 1953 through 1962 Rogers recorded a series of RCA Victor albums (later reissued under the Bluebird label) and Atlantic albums with his own group, Shorty Rogers and His Giants, including Shorty Courts the Count (1954), The Swinging Mr. Rogers (1955), and Martians Come Back (1955), the album title alluding to the tune "Martians Go Home" which Rogers had composed and performed on The Swinging Mr. Rogers earlier the same year. These albums incorporated some of his more avant-garde music. To some extent they could be classified as "cool" jazz; but they also looked back to the "hot" style of Count Basie, whom Rogers always credited as a major inspiration.

Credited with the composition of the music for UPA's Mr. Magoo cartoon Hotsy Footsy and the Looney Tune Three Little Bops, Rogers eventually became better known for his skills as a composer and arranger than as a trumpeter.

After the early 1960s Rogers stopped performing on trumpet, and left the jazz scene for many years, although he was notable for contributing episode scores for the fourth season of Starsky & Hutch. Finally, in 1982, he was persuaded to pick up his trumpet and return, playing first with Britain’s National Youth Jazz Orchestra and later with Bud Shank and others. In the 1990s he formed a Lighthouse All Stars group along with Shank, Bill Perkins and Bob Cooper.


  • Modern Sounds, Shorty Rogers & His Giants (1951; Capitol Records H-294)
  • Popo (1951; Xanadu Records)
  • Short Stops (1953; Bluebird Records)
  • Infinity Promenade (1953; RCA Victor Records 20-5503)
  • Tale of an African Lobster (1953; RCA Victor Records 20-5503)
  • Shorty Rogers Courts the Count (1954; RCA Victor Records LJM-1004)
  • The Swinging Mr. Rogers (1955; Atlantic Records ALS-1212)
  • Martians Come Back (1955; Atlantic Records SD-1232)
  • Martians Stay Home (March 1, October 21 & November 3, 1955; Released by Atlantic Records, K50714, in 1980)
  • Clickin with Clax (March 27 & 30, 1956; Released by Atlantic Records, K50481, in 1979)
  • The Big Shorty Rogers Express (1956 RCA Victor LPM-1232; reissued on CD, RCA Victor CD 74321 18519 2)
  • Wherever the Five Winds Blow (1956; RCA Victor LPM-1326)
  • Shorty Rogers Plays Richard Rodgers (1957; RCA Victor LPM-1428)
  • Way Up There (1957; Atlantic Records SD-1270)
  • Portrait of Shorty (1957; RCA Victor LPM-1561)
  • Chances Are It Swings (1958; RCA Victor LPM-1975)
  • The Wizard of Oz and Other Harold Arlen Songs (1959; RCA Victor)
  • Bossa Nova (1962; Reprise R/R9 6050) (Reissued as Return to Rio on Discovery DS-899)
  • Jazz Waltz (1963; Reprise R/R9 6060)

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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Shorty Rogers. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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