January can be the coolest month, to somewhat paraphrase T.S. Elliot. With recent snow and temperatures under ten degrees, we don’t really need a reminder, but a recent donation to the ARChive included not one but two copies of Eddie Bert’s Like Cool album, and it presented an appropriate display for the ARC window.
Eddie Bert was a highly regarded jazz trombone player. He got his start playing in the swing bands of Red Norvo, Woody Herman and Charlie Barnet. He also played with be boppers Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. In 1955, when this album is believed to have been recorded and/or released by Sumerset Records, Bert made recordings with Ernie Wilkins, Gigi Gryce, Duke Jordan, Charles Mingus, Max Roach and Hank Jones, as well as sessions at which he was the leader for the Savoy label; and probably other sessions that could not be detected as easily in the time allotted to write this. It is no wonder that the fabled jazz magazine Metronome selected Eddie Bert as the trombonist of the year and he subsequently recorded with the Metronome All Stars in 1956.
It should be mentioned that the donor of the Eddie Bert LPs was none other than Allen Lowe. He’s a musician and writer about music whose donation included several hundred LPs as well as several hundred books about music, plus a VPI record-cleaning machine and about three dozen 78s (mostly by minstrel singer Al Bernard), which he personally drove down to Lower Manhattan from Portland, Maine!
Thanks Allan. By the way we already had a copy of the Eddie Bert record from a previous donation by one of our heroes and authentic cool cat Fred Schneider!
When you walk by the ARC, take a good look at this Like Cool album cover, because in a few months the heat and humidity of a summer in New York City will be back!!