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Musician

Pete Rugolo

Born:

Pete Rugolo was a jazz composer and arranger. He was born in San Piero Patti, Sicily. His family emigrated to the United States in 1920 and settled in Santa Rosa, California. He started his musical career playing the baritone, like his father, but he quickly branched out into other instruments, notably the French horn and the piano. He received a bachelor's degree from San Francisco State College, and then studied composition with Darius Milhaud at Mills College in Oakland, California. After he graduated, he was hired as an arranger and composer by guitarist and bandleader Johnny Richards

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Article: Album Review

Stan Kenton and His Orchestra: Concert on the Pacific

Read "Concert on the Pacific" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The Stan Kenton Orchestra's Concert on the Pacific is actually a compendium of several concerts recorded between January and March 1958 at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa, California—a series that almost emptied Kenton's wallet and caused him to pause and regroup a year or so later. While this was post-Rosolino/Sims/Konitz/Levey, the Kenton Orchestra was never without ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

New Midsummer Releases Plus A Pride Of Jazz Leos

Read "New Midsummer Releases Plus A Pride Of Jazz Leos" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


This broadcast presents midsummer releases from pianist Bobby West and vocalist Carmela Rappazzo, plus a single of a new collaboration from vocalists Lucy Yeghiazaryan & Vanisha Gould, with birthday shoutouts to a pride of Jazz Leos: Nnenna Freelon, composer Pamela Baskin-Watson, pianists Joanne Brackeen and Shamie Royston, vocalists Camille Bertault, Fay Victor and Luba Mason, among ...

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News: Recording

June Christy: Fair and Warmer!

June Christy: Fair and Warmer!

Each year, right after the holidays, I love listening to June Christy's 1950s vocal recordings for Capitol. It's the hip dryness of her voice, the beaming sunshine of her singing style and cool phrasing that knock me out. It's all very California. Couple this with Pete Rugolo's eclectic arrangements and the Hollywood tigers assembled for the ...

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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

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 ...

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News: TV / Film

Pete Rugolo and the Beaver

Pete Rugolo and the Beaver

The death of Ken Osmond last week came as a shock to anyone who grew up watching TV's Leave It to Beaver in the early 1960s. The shock for me wasn't that Osmond had died but that he had been alive all this time. The word on the playground in the late 1960s and early '70s ...

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Article: Album Review

Tom Green Septet: Tipping Point

Read "Tipping Point" reviewed by Chris May


The second album from British trombonist, composer and arranger Tom Green's Septet follows the little-big-band's locally acclaimed Skyline (Spark), released back in 2015. Rather remarkably, the only change to the lineup since then is the replacement of alto and soprano saxophonist Matthew Herd by Tommy Andrews. Green's specialism appears to be big bands. His ...

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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: Profile

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 ...


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