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ALBUM REVIEWS

Stan Kenton: A Kenton Trilogy, Part 2 / The Sound of Jazz

Read "A Kenton Trilogy, Part 2 / The Sound of Jazz" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The Sound of Jazz by the legendary Stan Kenton Orchestra follows Part 1 of a Kenton Trilogy, Dance Time, and hopefully precedes a third component yet to be named. Although Kenton has been gone for more than forty years (he died in August 1979), he has hardly been forgotten, with reissues of concert and studio sessions by the orchestra appearing on what seems to be a fairly regular basis. In this case, the album is divided roughly into four parts, ...

RADIO

Bastards under the Mistletoe

Read "Bastards under the Mistletoe" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

The holidays and jazz go together like milk and cookies left out for Santa. You're not sure if they're going to be taken or will still be there getting warm in the morning, but it's the spirit of the thing that matters. In this very special episode, the boys look at various holiday jazz offerings (three by individual artists, one compilation, one attempt to “jazz" the liturgy and a brand new entry in the jazz Christmas sweepstakes from newcomers and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Stan Kenton and His Orchestra: Jazz Journey

Read "Jazz Journey" reviewed by Jack Bowers

For those who thought that reissues of albums by the Stan Kenton Orchestra had faded away as the well ran dry, think again: from Sounds of Yesteryear comes a welcome and invigorating Jazz Journey, traversing half a dozen concerts by the superb Kenton Orchestra that consist for the most part of unissued material from the years 1953-60, more than half of it recorded by famed engineer Wally Heider. As author and Kenton scholar Michael Sparke observes in ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Stan Kenton Orchestra: Mellophonium Memoirs

Read "Mellophonium Memoirs" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Among bandleader Stan Kenton's many ensembles, surely none has given rise to as many differences of opinion--pro and con--as the Mellophonium Orchestra of the early 1960s. Audiences generally loved the warm and inviting sound of the mellophonium, residing in a nether region between trumpet and trombone; musicians, on the other hand--both those who played the mellophonium and those who did not--were, to say the least, more ambivalent about the instrument's eccentricities and unwillingness to remain in tune. In the end, ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Stan Kenton: Road Shows

Read "Stan Kenton: Road Shows" reviewed by Jack Bowers

For younger readers: yes, there was a time long ago when large groups of talented jazz musicians traveled without respite from city to city and town to town, braving one-night stands or more night after night in (mostly) sold-out concert halls, dance halls, pavilions, nightclubs, schools and other venues. They were known as big bands, so enormously popular that they even had their own “era," and the world may never see their like again, at least not on the road. ...

BIG BAND REPORT

Did Stan Kenton Swing? You Bet Your Walkin' Shoes He Did...

Read "Did Stan Kenton Swing? You Bet Your Walkin' Shoes He Did..." reviewed by Jack Bowers

I've been listening to a lot of Stan Kenton's music recently while coming to grips with the age-old question, did the Kenton orchestra really swing? The answer, to me, is a no-brainer: Yes, Kenton swung. Liberally and often. [Note: This of course depends on how “swinging" is defined; opinions may vary]. In his own way--although he'd have been loath to admit it--Kenton's series of orchestras swung as hard as anyone, even Basie, Herman or Rich. For assurance, one need look ...

FILM REVIEWS

Stan Kenton: Artistry in Rhythm - Portrait Of A Jazz Legend

Read "Stan Kenton: Artistry in Rhythm - Portrait Of A Jazz Legend" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Stan KentonArtistry In Rhythm: Portrait Of A Jazz LegendJazzed Media2011 “I thought that [Stan] was an echo of life itself: that life is precious, life is exquisite, and life is magnificent. He lived it, and his legacy points to some of those values. Whether we are able to interpret them or not, they are there." That's noted jazz historian, educator and author Dr. Herb Wong, having (almost) the last word on ...


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