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Bill Holman

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Born Willis Leonard Holman on May 21, 1927 in Olive, CA, near Santa Ana, Bill Holman took up clarinet in junior high school and tenor saxophone in high school by which time he was leading his own band. After serving in the Navy and studying engineering, he decided in the late '40s that he wanted to write big band music and studied for a while at the Westlake College of Music in Los Angeles with Dave Robertson and Dr. Alfred Sendrey. He also studied composition privately with Russ Garcia and saxaphone with Lloyd Reese. In 1949 he played with the Ike Carpenter Band, in 1951, he was writing for Charlie Barnet, and in 1952 he began his association with Stan Kenton, for whom he wrote and played for many years

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Article: Album Review

David Angel: Out on the Coast

Read "Out on the Coast" reviewed by Jack Bowers


David Angel, one of the West Coast's best-kept secrets, earns a long-overdue hour or three in the sun and makes every moment count on Out on the Coast, a superlative three-disc anthology that bundles fifteen of his luminous original compositions with seven jazz standards in an invariably pleasurable and charming package. When not teaching, writing or ...

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Article: Album Review

Vanessa Perica: Love is a Temporary Madness

Read "Love is a Temporary Madness" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Even as the year 2020 has slid ignobly into the dustbin of history, music-lovers have been buoyed by a number of encouraging signs that the future of big-band jazz is in capable hands. While splendid recordings by old hands Mike Barone, Steve Spiegl, Mark Masters and Maria Schneider have helped keep the flame burning brightly, their ...

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Article: 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 ...

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Article: Album Review

Carl Saunders: Jazz Trumpet

Read "Jazz Trumpet" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Septuagenarian trumpeter Carl Saunders, whose horn served and enhanced the music of Stan Kenton, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and numerous other icons, has been a steady presence on the Summit Records imprint. Whether exploring rare Bill Holman charts or crafting a program with a patriotic shine, acting as a featured guest with the Gary Urwin Jazz ...

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News: Recording

Art Pepper: Mucho Calor

Art Pepper: Mucho Calor

When brothers John and Alex Siamas started Rex Productions in 1957, it was conceived as a holding company for several record labels that they launched the same year. Andex was Rex's jazz and gospel imprint but also released R&B and rock 'n' roll singles. Keen was primarily rock 'n' roll and R&B. The third was Ensign, ...

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Article: 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 ...

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Article: 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 ...

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Article: 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 ...

News: Video / DVD

Stan Kenton: Back to Balboa

Stan Kenton: Back to Balboa

Back in the early 1980s, I headed out to Los Angeles to visit a friend in Huntington Beach for a few days. For the summer trip—my first to the L.A. area—I packed my Sony Walkman and a bunch of West Coast jazz cassettes. The tapes weren't to entertain. My motive was more anthropological. I wanted to ...


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