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Stan Kenton feat: Chris Connor. Stanley Newcomb Kenton December 15, — August 25, was an American popular music and jazz artist. As a pianist , composer , arranger and band leader, he led an innovative and influential jazz orchestra for almost four decades. Though Kenton had several pop hits from the early s into the s, his music was always forward-looking. Kenton was also a pioneer in the field of jazz education, creating the Stan Kenton Jazz Camp in at Indiana University. Stan Kenton was born on December 15, , in Wichita, Kansas ; he had two sisters Beulah and Erma Mae born three and eight years after him.
Kenton started learning piano as a teen from a local pianist and organist. When he was around 15 and in high school, pianist and arranger Ralph Yaw introduced him to the music of Louis Armstong and Earl Hines. He graduated from high school in By the age of 16, Kenton was already playing a regular solo piano gig at a local hamburger eatery for 50 cents a night plus tips; during that time he had his own performing group named "The Bell-Tones".
His first arrangement was written during this time for a local eight-piece band that played in nearby Long Beach. In April Gus Arnheim was reorganizing his band into the style of Benny Goodman 's groups and Kenton was to take the piano chair.
This is where Kenton would make his first recordings when Arnheim made 14 sides for the Brunswick label in summer of Once he departed from Gus Arnheim 's group, Kenton went back to study with private teachers on both the piano and in composition.
In Kenton would join Vido Musso in a short-lived band but a very educational experience for him. From the core of this group come the line up of the first Stan Kenton groups of the s. Kenton started to get the idea of running his own band from this experience; he created a rehearsal band of his own which eventually become his group in the s. In , Kenton formed his first orchestra. Kenton worked in the early days with his own groups as much more of an arranger than a featured pianist.
Although there were no "name" musicians in his first band with the possible exception of bassist Howard Rumsey and trumpeter Chico Alvarez , Kenton spent the summer of playing regularly before an audience at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa Beach, CA. Its Decca recordings were not big sellers and a stint as Bob Hope's backup radio band during the —44 season was an unhappy experience; Les Brown permanently took Kenton's place.
Kenton's first appearance in New York was in February at the Roseland Ballroom , with the marquee featuring an endorsement by Fred Astaire. By , the band had evolved. Given free rein by Kenton, Rugolo experimented.
Although Kenton himself was already trying experimental scores prior to Rugolo's tenure, it was Rugolo who brought extra jazz and classical influences much needed to move the band forward artistically.
During his first six months on the staff, Rugolo tried to copy Kenton's sound; on encouragement from the leader he explored his own voice. By incorporating compositional techniques borrowed from the modern classical music he studied, Rugolo was a key part of one of Kenton's most fertile and creative periods. After a string of mostly arrangements, Rugolo turned out three originals that Kenton featured on the band's first album in Artistry in Rhythm : "Artistry in Percussion", "Safranski" and "Artistry in Bolero".
Added to this mix came "Machito", "Rhythm Incorporated", "Monotony" and "Interlude" in early though some were not recorded until later in the year. These compositions, along with June Christy 's voice, came to define the Artistry in Rhythm band. Afro-Cuban writing was added to the Kenton book with compositions like Rugolo's "Machito. The Artistry in Rhythm ensemble was a formative band, with outstanding soloists. By early , the Stan Kenton Orchestra had reached a high point of financial and popular success.
They played in the best theaters and ballrooms in America and numerous hit records. Dances at the many ballrooms were typically four hours a night and theater dates generally involved playing mini concerts between each showing of the movie. This was sometimes five or six a day, stretching from morning to late night.
Most days not actually playing were spent in buses or cars. Days off from performing were rare. For Stan Kenton they just allowed for more record signing, radio station interviews, and advertising for Capitol Records. Due to the financial and personal demands, following an April performance in Tuscaloosa , he broke up the Artistry in Rhythm incarnation of Kenton ensembles.
After a hiatus of five months, Kenton formed a new, larger ensemble to present Concerts in Progressive Jazz. This goal proved mostly obtainable but the band had to still fill in its schedule by booking dances and movie theater jobs, especially over the summer.
Pete Rugolo composed and arranged the great bulk of the new music; Kenton declared these works to be Progressive Jazz. A student of famed composer and educator Russ Garcia , Bob Graettinger wrote numerous works for the band, starting with his composition Thermopylae.
His ground-breaking album City of Glass would be recorded by Kenton; works created from to Ken Hanna , who began the tour as a trumpet player, contributed a few compositions to the new band, including Tiare and Somnambulism. Kenton contributed no new scores to the Progressive Jazz band, although several of his older works were performed on concerts, including Concerto to End All Concertos, Eager Beaver, Opus in Pastels, and Artistry in Rhythm.
The addition of a full-time bongo player and a Brazilian guitarist in the band enabled Kenton's cadre of composers to explore Afro-Latin rhythms to far greater possibilities.
The Progressive Jazz period lasted 14 months, beginning on September 24, , when the Stan Kenton Orchestra played a concert at the Rendezvous Ballroom. The band produced only one album and a handful of singles, due to a recording ban by the American Federation of Musicians that lasted the entirety of Many sidemen from the Artistry band returned, but there were significant changes. Both were firsts for the Kenton band, or any jazz band for that matter.
The rhythm section included returnees Eddie Safranski bass and Shelly Manne drums , both destined to win first place Down Beat awards. Kids are going haywire over the sheer noise of this band…There is a danger of an entire generation growing up with the idea that jazz and the atom bomb are essentially the same natural phenomenon. Al Porcino was added to the already powerhouse section. Conte Candoli joined the band, replacing Porcino, in February The Stan Kenton Orchestra was one of the most popular US big bands of the s and Kenton was famous for his experimental "wall of sound".
The Kansas-born musician toured extensively and the alleged incest began in the summer of , when Leslie ws sharing her father's hotel room during a tour. Then, drowning in a sea of alcohol, he would come to my bed, only to deny the next morning that he'd been there," Kenton told the Mail on Sunday's You magazine.
He was horrified by what he had done, yet he could never really face it. Blue Note. Stan Kenton Presents. Live at Cornell University, Live in at the Hollywood Palladium, Vol. Jazz Band. Summer of ' DCC Compact Classics. New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm. Kenton 'Concert in Wiesbaden. Astral Jazz. The European Tour: Popular Favorites. Stan Kenton Radio Transcriptions.
This Is an Orchestra! This Modern World. Portraits on Standards. Contemporary Concepts. In Concert. Vintage Jazz Classics. In StockholmThere have been few jazz musicians as consistently controversial as Stan naheasontelifa.puttvabwallveponcisolezytofouli.cosed by purists of various genres while loved by many others, Kenton ranks up there with Chet Baker and Sun Ra as jazz's top cult figure. He led a succession of highly original bands that often emphasized emotion, power, and advanced harmonies over swing, and this upset listeners .