I checked this book out a while back and I confirm it’s a must have. Here’s a quote from the New York Times.
The cool was born in New York. It was in Manhattan that Miles Davis and the nine-piece group he convened in the late 1940s forged a tightly understated alternative to the hot expressionism of bebop and recorded the hugely influential tracks later collected in the album “Birth of the Cool.” But it was in California in the 1950s that cool jazz and cool art in general took root and flourished.
The story is well told in “Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design and Culture at Midcentury,” an exhibition here at the Addison Gallery of American Art. Organized by Elizabeth Armstrong, chief curator at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, Calif., where it originated, the show examines cool style of the ’50s in several disciplines, including painting, furniture design, architecture, film and photography.
The multidisciplinary approach could be confusing, but it all hangs together in ways both entertaining and thought provoking. What emerges is not just a style but a spirit and an ethos that are in many ways diametrically opposite those of East Coast Abstract Expressionism. Angst-free, not monumental, anti-grandiose:
California cool is laid back yet cleanly articulated, impersonal yet intimate, strict yet hedonistic, and seriously playful. …
Birth of the Cool – California – Art – Review – New York Times
Thanks to Lou Smith.