Fred Katz was the first cellist to achieve prominence in jazz in the 1950s; and he was an innovator in more than just his choice of instrument. As a composer he combined jazz and classical influences into elegant--and sometimes elegantly odd--musical Mid-Century Modernism. He was an important member of Chico Hamilton's west coast Quintet of the '50s, a leader of his own ensembles, Ken Nordine's collaborator on Nordine's classic Word Jazz albums, and the composer of the score for Roger Corman's original low-budget movie, The Little Shop of Horrors, to name just a few of his credits.
Katz died September 7, 2013, at age 94. David Garland celebrates Katz's life and work with a wide range of his playful, imaginative music.