The Baltimore Sun


Purveyor of "cool jazz"

Bud Shank, 82, who brought Brazilian music to U.S. audiences, helped define "cool jazz" in the 1950s and played the dreamlike flute solo on the Mamas and the Papas' 1965 hit "California Dreamin'," died Thursday at his home in Tucson. He had a lung ailment.

Mr. Shank's 60-year career took him from the big bands of the 1940s to the Hollywood studios and to renewed respect as an innovator late in life.

Along with Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan and Dave Brubeck, Mr. Shank was one of the prime creators of the West Coast school of cool, a style of jazz seen as the relaxed, melodic counterpart of California life in the 1950s.

Mr. Shank was also among the first musicians to make the flute a legitimate jazz instrument in the early 1950s, and it proved to be a useful talent once he shifted his career to the Hollywood studios. His 33-second flute solo on "California Dreamin'," improvised in a studio in 1965, comes at the song's precise midpoint, serving as a musical metaphor of the Mamas and the Papas' sun-splashed message.

Shank also performed the flute solo on the Association's No. 1 hit from 1967 "Windy," and he appeared on other popular records by Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66, Joni Mitchell and Boz Scaggs.

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