The Best-Laid Plans...
It's Official. . . !
As Ken Poston said in announcing his next extravaganza, "you've talked us into it once again. And so Poston and the Los Angeles Jazz Institute will present "Encores in Big Band Jazz: Artistry in Rhythm Meets Woodchopper's Ball, celebrating the music that created the Stan Kenton and Woody Herman legacies, May 25-28 at the Four Points Sheraton at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport). And what a dazzling array of stars they've assembled! Besides the Woody Herman Orchestra directed by Frank Tiberi, there'll be performances by the legendary Terry Gibbs Dream Band, the Four Freshmen, the Bill Holman, Al Porcino and Mike Vax Big Bands, and Maynard Ferguson and Big Bop Nouveau.
But that's not all. There's Big Band Broadway featuring "The Stage Door Swings, directed by Lennie Niehaus; Woody's "My Kind of Broadway and Stan's "West Side Story, both directed by Joel Kaye; and "Blowin' Up a Storm, the music of Herman's mid-'40s First Herd. How's that for a starting lineup? Holman, by the way, will be showcasing two of his extended compositions"The Tall Guy (a tribute to Kenton) and "Homage à Woody (dedicated to guess who).
Of course, there'll be the usual films, panel discussions, special presentations and poolside concerts for those who'd otherwise be bored. Not to mention a bonus event for the first fifty people to registera narrated bus tour Thursday morning of many historic locations significant to Stan Kenton's career including the Earl Carroll Theatre, C.P. MacGregor Studios, Decca's Hollywood Studio, the Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood Bowl, Radio Recorders, the original Capitol Studios, the Capitol Tower, Wallich's Music City, Stan's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Creative World offices and the Kenton grave site in Westwood.
This is a bonus event, and no tickets will be sold for it. The price for all of thisand as always, it's a bargainis $350 in advance ($325 for Institute members). To register, send check or money order to the Los Angeles Jazz Institute, P.O. Box 8038, Long Beach, CA 90808-0038, or phone 562-985-7065. Yes, I'm going, so we'll see you there!
Higher Standards. . .
I received in the mail a brochure about an interesting new web site, www.JazzStandards.com, and thought I'd pass the information along, as some (if not all) readers may find it useful. It's described as "an educational and informative look at the tunes Jazz musicians record and play, and is aimed at Jazz educators, musicians, researchers, journalists, disc jockeys, students and Jazz fans (that about covers it). Included are origins and histories of songs, music analyses, songwriter biographies, book reviews and CD recommendations.
The sample page, which assesses the standard "My Funny Valentine, contains a carload of helpful data including all of the above plus musicians' comments, soundtrack information, a list of other songs written by the same composer (Richard Rodgers), Jazz history notes pertaining to the song, recommended books for reading and research, and even a "listen button to hear the tune at amazon.com. Sounds indispensable, and it's only a click or two away.
And that's it for now. Until next time, keep swingin'!
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