Summertime Is Jazz Time
If you plan to be in LA for Springsville, you may as well hang around for the 14th annual Kenton Clan Party and Artistry in Kenton to be held June 5 at The Forum at Pasadena City College (Artistry) and June 6 at the Holiday Inn Ballroom in Monrovia (Kenton Clan). Artistry in Kenton consists of three parts: a panel discussion by former members of the Stan Kenton Orchestra including an in-depth discussion of the mellophonium by some who played it; Kenton on Camera, video screenings of Kenton and his orchestra on film and kinescope that have not been seen publicly in decades; and Swingin’ for Stan, an all-star alumni concert featuring, among others, trumpeters Buddy Childers and Carl Saunders; saxophonists Bill Trujillo and Gary LeFebvre, drummer Gary Hobbs and Jazz mellophonium player Tony Scodwell.
The Kenton Clan Party on Sunday the 6th is entitled “More Mellophonium Magic,” a follow-up to last year’s highly successful 40th anniversary Kenton concert. The 24-member alumni concert orchestra will include some of Kenton’s original mellophonium players. On the program are many Kenton classics including a new version of “Artistry Jumps,” played for the first time with mellophonium parts, and Part 2 of the Cuban Fire Suite — not heard in more than forty years. Former Kenton saxophonist Joel Kaye will conduct the alumni orchestra whose trumpet section alone — Childers, Saunders, Mike Vax, Steve Huffsteter, Bob Rolfe — is worth the price of admission. Trujillo and LeFebvre are in the sax section with Kim Richmond, Med Flory and Nancy Newman; the ‘bone section includes Kenny Shroyer, Jack Redmond, Roy Wiegand, Mike Suter and Bob Olsen, the rhythm section pianist Rich Eames, bassist Dave Stone, drummer Gary Hobbs and percussionists Jack Costanzo and Mike Pacheco. Manning the mellophoniums are Tony Scodwell, Keith LaMotte, Dick Wright and Andrew Zollinger. The price is reasonable, $40 per person or $60 with lunch, and there are special hotel rates. For information phone 626-793-1477 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
If You’d Prefer Something “Hotter” . . .
The Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest will be held June 3-6 in — where else? — Puerto Rico. This is a Latin-centered event with performances by Jimmy Bosch, Spyro Gyra, Monty Alexander (a tribute to Bob Marley), the Tony Pérez Quintet, Giovanni Hidalgo, Horacio “El Negro” Hernändez, Tito de Gracias, Gato Barbieri, Dianne Reeves and others. For information phone 312-297-7593, 212-704-8154 or e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
This month’s column is being written in the midst of a raging head cold, so I hope it’s coherent. And I hope you are able to get out and hear some live Jazz this summer. Until next time, keep swingin!
New and Noteworthy
1. Stan Kenton Orchestra, Horns of Plenty (Tantara)
2. Peter Brem Big Band, Natural Connections (Music Mecca)
3. Phil Norman Tentet, Wide Range (Concord)
4. Doncaster Jazz Orchestra, Discover the Spirit (DJO)
5. University of Miami Concert Jazz Band, Romances (Summit)
6. Dave Stevens Big Band, Sound Storm (Digital Visionary)
7. Mats Holmquist Big Band, A Tribute to Chick Corea (Caprice)
8. DVC Night Jazz Band, Featuring Toshiko Akiyoshi (DVC)
9. Jill Townsend Big Band, Tales from the Sea (Pagetown)
10. Rob McConnell Tentet, Songs of the Twenties (Justin Time)
11. Riverside Community College, Upside Out (Sea Breeze Vista)
12. Don Scaletta and the Jazz Project, Salutes Stan Kenton (Ars Nova)
13. University of North Texas One O'Clock Band, Lab 2003 (UNT Jazz)
14. National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Jazz in Film (Silva Screen)
15. Klüvers Big Band, Reflections (Music Mecca)