Monday, July 24, 2017

The Kenton Alums

Some of you might take issue with this, but I'm just going to say it and let the chips fall where they may. I'm not an overwhelming wild-eyed fan of the Stan Kenton Orchestra. I own about a dozen SK albums, so it might be said that I recognize his place in jazz history. The "Kenton sound" as it became known, was bright, brassy, and orchestral. It was impeccably arranged, but to my ear it didn't always swing. Still, we must credit Kenton for possessing a great ear [?] for superb players in his orchestra. Many of them started their careers in the Kenton nest [?] and others used it as a springboard to later fame. Among them were the following: [paragraph?] Jack Sheldon, the witty trumpet player and occasional singer; Zoot Sims, bear [?] of the incessantly swinging tenor sax; Lennie Niehaus, an alto player who would move on as a leader and arranger of significance; Tenor man Bill Holman, whose arranging skills would make him one of the most in demand in that arena; Troubled trombonist Frank Rosolino, first call cat in both movie and recording studios; and Art Pepper, who despite his addictive lifestyle, would become a major [what?] [alto sax]. Other Kentonites who moved on [repetition] to prominence in their own right include Lee Konitz, alto; Stan Levey, drums; Conte Condoli, trumpet; Bob Cooper and Bill Perkins, tenor sax; and two outstanding singers, June Christy and Chris Connor. All said, that's a truckful of talent. Stan Kenton recognized it, encouraged it, and gave it to the jazz world as a great gift.

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