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Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

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Album Review

Stan Kenton and His Orchestra: In a Lighter Vein

Read "In a Lighter Vein" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Stan Kenton was a man of many moods, as was his intrepid and popular orchestra, which endured until his passing in August 1979 and whose renown is kept alive even today by the Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra. Kenton dons his carefree hat on In a Lighter Vein, an assortment of straight-ahead themes from the orchestra's jazz library, preserved in five concert performances from 1953-55 beneath the umbrella of NBC radio's All Star Parade of Bands. Original compositions ...

3

Album Review

Stan Kenton and His Orchestra: Concert Kenton

Read "Concert Kenton" reviewed by Jack Bowers


There's no question that Stan Kenton led one of the more successful and popular orchestras of the storied Big Band Era, winning various yearly polls while drawing large crowds to his jazz concerts and dance performances from coast to coast. But Kenton always wanted something more: to enlighten as well as entertain. Music, he felt, should be cerebral as well as visceral. And so he formed the Neophonic Orchestra to play the sort of forward-looking jazz he felt many listeners ...

6

Album Review

The Stan Kenton Orchestra / Trinity College: Concert Impressions

Read "Concert Impressions" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Here's another splendid two-disc anthology from Tantara Productions showcasing music from the capacious Stan Kenton library, performed on Disc 1 by the Kenton Orchestra circa 1972-76 and on Disc 2 by the Trinity College Big Band, Alumni Band and Symphony Orchestra in 2004 and 2007. Tantara has now released more than twenty albums, all devoted to music by Kenton, with several, like this one, including performances by a second ensemble, usually from a college or university. Each ...

6

Album Review

Stan Kenton and His Orchestra: A Kenton Trilogy, Part 1: Dance Time

Read "A Kenton Trilogy, Part 1: Dance Time" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Better late than never. Having already appraised Part 2 of Sounds of Yesteryear's three-part salute to the Stan Kenton Orchestra, it seemed only proper that the same should be done (albeit out of order) for Part 1 (and Part 3 as well, whenever it is released). Unlike Part 2, which is devoted to the artistry of four members of the orchestra (saxophonists Lee Konitz and Pepper Adams, vocalist Ann Richards, mellophonium master Ray Starling), Part 1 consists of themes from ...

4

Album Review

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, ...

4

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 ...

5

Album Review

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 ...


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