Les Baxter

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About Les Baxter

Les Baxter was a member of Mel Torme's Meltones, a film score and television theme composer, and even the leader of a folk ensemble. However, the multi-talented composer/arranger/conductor is best known for being one of the creators of the "exotica" sound. By fusing Polynesian rhythms and instrumentation with slick orchestral arrangements, Baxter gave rise to a hip, swanky, less cerebral variation of jazz that appealed to the lounge and bachelor-pad set of the 1950s and '60s. The exotica movement has had many a revival through the years, thus ensuring that Baxter remains an icon of quirky cool.

Mexia, TX, United States
March 14, 1922

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