Milton “Shorty” Rogers (born Milton Rajonsky; April 14, 1924 – November 7, 1994) was an American jazz musician, one of the principal creators of West Coast jazz. He played trumpet and flugelhorn and was in demand for his skills as an arranger.
Rogers was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, United States. He worked first as a professional musician with Will Bradley and Red Norvo. From 1947 to 1949, he worked extensively with Woody Herman and in 1950 and 1951 he played with Stan Kenton.
On June 7, 1953, Rogers and his orchestra, including Johnny “Guitar” Watson, performed for the famed ninth Cavalcade of Jazz concert at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles, produced by Leon Hefflin, Sr. Also featured that day were Roy Brown and his Orchestra, Don Tosti and His Mexican Jazzmen, Earl Bostic, Nat “King” Cole, and Louis Armstrong and his All Stars with Velma Middleton.
From 1953 through 1962, Rogers recorded a series of albums for RCA Victor (later reissued on RCA’s Bluebird label), as well as a series of albums for Atlantic Records with his own group, Shorty Rogers and His Giants, including Shorty Courts the Count (1954), The Swinging Mr. Rogers (1955), and Martians Come Back (1955), the album title alluding to the tune “Martians Go Home” which Rogers had composed and performed on The Swinging Mr. Rogers earlier the same year. These albums incorporated some of his more avant-garde music. To some extent they could be classified as “cool” jazz; but they also looked back to the “hot” style of Count Basie, whom Rogers always credited as a major inspiration. In 1957, Rogers composed the music for the Friz Freleng cartoon Three Little Bops, notably the first Warner Bros. cartoon short not to have music by either Carl Stalling or Milt Franklyn, and scored the music for the MGM film Tarzan, the Ape Man two years later.