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Stan Kenton

Stanley Newcomb Kenton (December 15, 1911 - August 25, 1979) led a highly innovative, influential, and often controversial American jazz orchestra. In later years he was widely active as an educator. Stan Kenton was born in Wichita, Kansas, and raised first in Colorado and then in California. He learned piano as a child, and while still a teenager toured with various bands. In June 1941 he formed his own band, which developed into one of the best-known West Coast ensembles of the Forties. Kenton's musical aggregations were decidedly “orchestras.” Sometimes consisting of two dozen or more musicians at once, they produced an unmistakable Kenton sound--as recognizable as that of the bands of Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, or Count Basie

ARTICLE: BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Harry Allen: Tenor Saxophone In The Time of COVID

Read "Harry Allen: Tenor Saxophone In The Time of COVID" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to any number of keen improvisations, each manifesting from the necessity of having to “quarantine in place." Tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, the “Frank Sinatra" of his instrument, thinks way outside the box--recording within the friendly confines of his own living room, while under health crisis house arrest. Good for you, ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Tom Kennedy: Stories From Behind and Beyond The Bass

Read "Tom Kennedy: Stories From Behind and Beyond The Bass" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Tom Kennedy has never considered himself a prospector, but surely has tapped into a goldmine. As if releasing a hotshot new record wasn't enough, the world class jazz and fusion bassist is in compositional bliss with a bevy of new material yet to be recorded. Kennedy and I talk at length about his new writing technique ...

Concert Kenton

Label: Sounds of Yesteryear
Released: 2020
Track listing: Act I, Progressive Jazz—Artistry Jumps; Elegy for Alto; Machito; Theme to the West. Act II, Innovations in Modern Music—Theme; Samana; I’ll Remember April; Gloomy Sunday; How High the Moon; Love for Sale; Gregory Bemko; Salute; Theme. Act III, Mellophoniums—Commencement; Artemis and Apollo; Apercu. Act IV, L.A. Neophonic —Stan speaks about the Neophonic Orchestra. Opus for Tympani (First Movement / Second Movement / Third Movement). Act V, 1971—A Listening; Poinciana.

A Kenton Trilogy, Part 2 / The Sound of Jazz

Label: Sounds of Yesteryear
Released: 2020
Track listing: Act I: Lee — Theme Into Solo for Alto; You Go to My Head; Lover Man; In Lighter Vein. Act II: Pepper — My Funny Valentine; Kingfish; I Concentrate on You; Swing House. Act III: Ann — Black Coffee; The Thrill Is Gone; Imagination; Back in Your Own Backyard; Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me. Act IV: Ray — Stan Speaks About Ray Starling; Four of a Kind; Genghis Kahn; Little Boy Blew; Patterns; Mellophobia; Misty.

A Kenton Trilogy, Part 1: Dance Time

Label: Sounds of Yesteryear
Released: 2020
Track listing: Theme and Introduction; Opus in Chartreuse; Under a Blanket of Blue; Spring Is Here; Intermission Riff; Imagination; Stompin’ at the Savoy; Theme and Introduction; Baubles, Bangles and Beads; Young and Foolish; Lullaby of Broadway; So in Love; All of You; Street of Dreams; You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To; The Night We Called It a Day; Artistry in Rhythm / Sign Off; Theme and Introduction; Laura; They Didn’t Believe Me; Cha Cha Sombrero; Begin the Beguine; When I Fall in Love; Theme and Sign Off.

In a Lighter Vein

Label: Sounds of Yesteryear
Released: 2020
Track listing: Theme and Introduction; Young Blood; Laura; ‘S Wonderful; Sophisticated Lady; In a Lighter Vein; It’s a Blue World; Jump for Joe; I’ve Got You Under My Skin; Autumn in New York; Taboo; Moonlight in Vermont; Jeepers Creepers; Harlem Nocturne; Body and Soul; Zoot; April in Paris; Intermission Riff; My Funny Valentine; Stompin’ at the Savoy; Lullaby of Birdland; Theme and Sign Off.

Concert Impressions

Label: Tantara Productions
Released: 2020
Track listing: Disc 1 — Fringe Benefit; Artistry in Percussion; Chiapas; Malaga; Fragments of a Portrait; The Daily Dance; Body and Soul; Too Shy to Say; Ramon Lopez; Send in the Clowns; Inner Crisis. Disc 2 — Malaguena; Interlude; Fuego Cubano; Requerdos; La Suerte de los Tontos; Salute; Valentine Blue; The Peanut Vendor; Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra; Art Pepper; Artistry in Rhythm.

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 ...

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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