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ARTICLE: PROFILES

The Very Singular Mr. Ran Blake

Read "The Very Singular Mr. Ran Blake" reviewed by Duncan Heining

There have been few American composers and musicians, with the ability to encapsulate their country's music in all its racial and ethnic complexity. We might perhaps point to Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Charles Ives and perhaps, in their own distaff ways, Harry Partch and Steve Reich. In jazz, their number is fewer still--Duke Ellington and George ...

ARTICLE: 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 ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

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 ...

ARTICLE: 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 ...

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEWS

Reuel Golden, Barney Hoskyns: 75 Years of Capitol Records

Read "Reuel Golden, Barney Hoskyns: 75 Years of Capitol Records" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

75 Years of Capitol Records Reuel Golden, Barney Hoskyns 492 Pages Taschen 2017 Il 15 novembre 2016, il Los Angeles City Council ha proclamato il “Capitol Records Day," una celebrazione del 75mo anno di vita della casa discografica, fondata a Los Angeles il 7 febbraio 1942. Tra le varie iniziative ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Stan Kenton Orchestra / BYU Synthesis Big Band: A Kenton Celebration

Read "A Kenton Celebration" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Fasten your seat belts, Kenton fans. Just when you feared the once-overflowing wellspring of material from the Stan Kenton Orchestra's archives may have run dry, along comes Tantara Productions with this jet-propelled and emphatically pleasurable two-disc set, the first half of which reclaims a long-lost concert date recorded in February 1959 at Brigham Young University, a ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Rugolo, Kenton and Bardot

Rugolo, Kenton and Bardot

When I posted last on Pete Rugolo (here), I left out two major albums in my survey of the arranger's work in a leadership role. They are Rugolo Plays Kenton (1958) and Behind Brigitte Bardot (1959). Both are exceptional for different reasons. Rugolo, of course, began arranging for Stan Kenton in 1944, starting with Opus a ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Pete Rugolo's Leadership LPs

Pete Rugolo's Leadership LPs

Arranger Pete Rugolo is an acquired taste. Listening to virtually all of his leadership albums in the 1950s and early '60s yesterday, I initially dismissed many of them as bombastic, elephantine works that relied too often on shrill trumpets and tympani drums. What's more, many of the albums featured a stray clunker so bad that they ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Mark Winkler: Jazz and Other Four Letter Words

Read "Jazz and Other Four Letter Words" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Vocalist Mark Winkler has been something of a victim of his own talent: his work as a vocalist has often been routinely overlooked, largely eclipsed by his renown as a songwriter. But the tide seems to be turning for this cool school singer-of-note. With the critical success and positive public response to The Laura Nyro Project ...

NEWS: INTERVIEW

The Swinging Shepherds

The Swinging Shepherds

In the final installment of my three-part series on off-the-radar jazz supergroups of the 1950s, I'm turning today to Buddy Collette and His Swinging Shepherds—a West Coast quartet of superb flutists that regrettably recorded only two albums for Mercury. Both albums were arranged by Pete Rugolo, who pulled out all the stops in terms of writing ...


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