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Rick Lawn: The Evolution of Big Band Sounds in America

Read "Rick Lawn: The Evolution of Big Band Sounds in America" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

From the latter part of the Jazz Age through the Swing Era, big bands dominated the jazz scene and a large part of the entertainment industry. After World War II, their fortunes declined, but their music soared to new heights, spurred on by innovative leaders, instrumentalists, and very importantly, the composers/arrangers who worked behind the scenes ...


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 ...


Bill Russo: 'School of Rebellion'

Bill Russo: 'School of Rebellion'

Bill Russo is best known to jazz fans as one of Stan Kenton's top arrangers in the early 1950s. But from time to time, Russo led his own orchestras on recording sessions. His first leadership date came in 1947, and from 1947 to 1950 he led a rehearsal band known as Experiment in Jazz. Russo's arrangements ...


Jazz Orchestras

Read "Jazz Orchestras" reviewed by Nick Catalano

This excerpt appears in New York Nights: Performing, Producing and Writing in Gotham (IUniverse, 2008).

In addition to the productions of the dance band shows, being a Performing Arts producer meant that I had the opportunity to present artists from every genre imaginable. I steadfastly tried to adhere to some sense of objectivity listening ...


Vic Lewis (1919-2009)

Vic Lewis (1919-2009)

Vic Lewis, a British bandleader whose intensive admiration for Stan Kenton and other West Coast jazz artists led him to form one of Britain's most admired American-sounding jazz orchestras of the late 1940s and 1950s, died on Monday in the U.K. He was 89.

Most American jazz fans are unfamiliar with Lewis, primarily because the bandleader ...