Friday, June 27, 2014

Stan Kenton - Artistry in Rhythm - By Dr. William Lee [From the Archives]

© -Steven Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.

"A lot of people didn't like what he was doing musically, and I don't know why. He was way ahead of all the avant garde play­ers and the so-called experimenters. But he did it when it wasn't fashionable, and he got put down. And now there are people who won't give credit where credit is due. I say that Stan Kenton was one of the most important pioneers of jazz, and he also had one of the great swing bands. There can never be a history of jazz without the name of Stan Kenton ..."
— Mel Lewis, drummer and bandleader

"Stan Kenton is six and a half feet of nervous exhausting energy that has produced some of the most aggravating, some of the most impressive, some of the most depressive, some of the most exciting, some of the most boring and certainly some of the most controversial sounds music and/or noise ever to emanate from any big band."
— George T. Simon, Jazz critic

"Among the transient voices of jazz, the magic of the Kenton sound will long survive its creator. This book captures the exis­tential qualities of both the man and his music."
— Peter C. Newman, Editor, Maclean's Magazine

As the frequent postings on the blog about him and his music would suggest, Stan Kenton is one of my heroes.

He is not every Jazz fan’s hero, but I’m glad he is one of mine for all the reasons expressed by Mort Sahl in his Foreword to and by Dr. William Lee and Frank Sinatra in their Prelude and Introduction to Dr. Lee’s Stan Kenton: Artistry in Rhythm [Los Angeles: The Creative Press, 1980] which follows these opening comments.

Stan received a great deal of criticism throughout his career for a variety of reasons some of which were perhaps appropriate and even relevant.

But if you’ve ever tried to play this music, you know hard it is to do so, let alone to do so consistently well. In this context, I could never understand the denigration that was leveled at him from what seemed to be purely negative and mean-spirited points-of-view.

Sure, Stan played some garbage. Who hasn’t? What, everything that Duke wrote was a masterpiece? Woody Herman once made an album entitled Woody’s Winners which some members of the Herman Old Guard promptly dubbed Woody’s Losers. And Count Basie's was a heckuva blues band, was a heckuva blues band, was a … you get the idea.

Stan’s music may not have been to everybody’s taste, but the strength of his musical convictions and his willingness to act upon them should have been.

Yes, I mean that statement as a moral imperative. The Jazz World can never have too many heroes, whatever their musical preferences.

At the end of this piece, you’ll find a video tribute to Stan with one of the many, fine bands he formed in the last decade of his career playing their version of his theme song – Artistry in Rhythm. After all these years, listening to that theme still leaves me with goose bumps.

© -William F. Lee/The Creative Press, copyright protected; all rights reserved.

By Mort Sahl

We are all his children. He changed the lives of everyone he met. He was a rider to the stars, but he built a band bus and took us with him.

I write this through a veil of pain. The wound has been open since August, 1979, when he left us. Now I remove the poker from the crucible of memory — that's all we have now — and attempt to cauterize the wound.

Where were you when first you heard him? I was in a C-47 in the Aleutian Islands, but my radio was in the Hollywood Palladium. When I came home, I bought, first, "The Peanut Vendor" on a 78. A Capitol record, because Dave Dexter recognized talent. Peggy Lee, Johnny Mercer, Nat Cole, Stan Kenton. The elitist discovers talent, the populist passes it around. Like a jug, I guess!

Stan Kenton took America at her word: The only limit was your imagination. He expressed our defiance when we couldn't find the words. He had weapons in the war of sound. He even invented one: the mellophonium.

But it wasn't just his vision he unleashed. It was everyone else's, too. He played the works of Pete Rugolo, Bill Russo, Bob Graettinger, Gerry Mulligan, Franklyn Marks, Johnny Richards, Bill Mattheu, Dee Barton, Hank Levy, the last so fascinated with time changes that Stan would study the chart and ask, "What's the area code?" As for Bill Holman, his talent needed an entire album.

Stan believed you didn't try to knock the audiences out; you really blew to knock yourself out. He taught that to Art Pepper, Lee Konitz, Shelly Manne, Stan Levey, Maynard Ferguson, Kai Winding, Laurindo Almeida — well, the manifest is lengthy. It reads as an index and a calendar of where we went to school, when we went to war, with whom we fell in love, and every time we heard "Artistry in Rhythm" when we came home!

The critics never liked Stan. Ralph Gleason, Nat Hentoff, Leonard Feather tried to deny him. First, on intellectual grounds: the music was formal, written. It "didn't swing". (Ask Zoot Sims. Ask Stan Getz.) Critics used their impeccable liberal credentials to define the struggle with this man who threatened their status quo. They pointed out that his band was all white. Ask Curtis Counce. Ask Ernie Royal, ask Carlos Vidal. Ask Kevin Jordan. Ask Jean Turner. But you should never have asked Stan. He was an American who disliked coercion and never had time to rebut critics. He thought it a waste of time, like nostalgia. "Do you reject it?" I asked. "Nostalgia ain't what it used to be," Stan replied.

Kenton's revolution in the use of brass, his Progressive Jazz period and the Innovations Orchestra excited the people and threat­ened, thus frightened, the press. When all else failed, they politicized the struggle once more and labeled him a rightist. The only political reference he ever made to me was one night on the bus, as we rolled across Kansas. "Maybe if all the farmers went to each coast and beat up all the intellectuals, the country would be better off."

Well, of course, they're not intellectuals. They're dilettantes. Oppenheimer was an intellectual. So is McCarthy. Hentoff hasn't fought for them. And they're not liberals. William O. Douglas was. Feather didn't mourn his passing. You say Douglas wasn't a musician. Well, Feather didn't mourn Stan's passing either.

It's not right versus left, or male versus female (ask Mary Fettig, who played tenor on Stan's band), it's the individual versus the group. Stan was first an individual. Right-wing? No, anti-collective. If the truth were known, the bourgeoisie in jazz objected not to what he had to say so much as his right to say it.

Stan's struggle with the band was not political, it was Freudian. The band looked upon him as a father; they called him "The Old Man" and they constantly felt his presence. Some found this inhibiting, but he looked upon them as children. The nest was structured, but only so they could fly beyond.

No one ever asked Stan to score a movie, but no contemporary composer is without his influence. Ask Hank Mancini. Ask Johnny Mandel.

Regrouping in 1970, Stan did what any independent does in a controlled society. He took his message to the people. He bought his own bus with an 800 mile range, and set out to establish music clinics at the universities — almost a baseball farm system. The worthiest students joined the band. "It's like making the Olympic team", one told me.

Stan never condemned those of this alumni who were vegetating as "successes" in studios. He was too busy developing places for the new composers and players to stand. And after all, if you have a place to stand, you can change the world.

I know it happened this way because I was there, right to the last night in August, 1978, when the entire trumpet section came down in front of the band to play a five-man screech-out chorus. By the way, it was "The Peanut Vendor".

As Don McLean says in "American Pie", it was "the day the music died."

When President Kennedy was killed, Senator Moynihan was asked, "Will we ever smile again?", and Moynihan said, "Yes, but we'll never be young again."
I have faith that in spite of the drug cutters, the corrupt press, the reactionary musicians who are still trying to imitate Bill Basie, somewhere some kid had the Kenton experience that will lead to his creating his own music. There will be a Kenton legacy if that kid fights for it.

I had that experience. Stan Kenton was my friend ... I loved him . . but, ultimately, Stan Kenton was a leader for 38 years. The orchestra played — and I heard it.

We are all his children.


‘‘The era has only begun. These are dynamic times and jazz is a dynamic language. To a musician, oft-repeated phrases soon grow sterile, and he seeks a new, exciting way to state his truths. For Stan Kenton, this constant, self-perpetuating search is a basic fact of life, so much a part of his being that it touches and inspires all with whom he comes in contact. He is a unique person, a unique explorer.’ (Freeman, The Kenton Era, unpublished brochure for Capitol Records, 1954, p. 43)

Pianist, Arranger, Composer, Conductor, Leader, Administrator, Educator, Philosopher, Innovator, Humanitarian — Stan Kenton was a twentieth century renaissance man. Consider that while he had little formal education, he championed the cause of higher education; he maintained and supported (often at his own expense) large orchestras at times when society, economics, and his peers found it impractical to do so; he conducted non-dance orchestras when dancing was in, and dance orchestras when dancing was out; he built his name into a household word through nearly forty years on the road, yet preferred to travel on the orchestra bus (facetiously labeled NOWHERE) with his personnel; the same talent and drive that has produced some of the most exciting music of the twentieth century took legal steps to see that his name is not perpetuated via the "Stan Kenton Orchestra under the direction of" tradition.

A cursory review of a few of the musicians whose careers were launched and/or furthered by Stan Kenton reveals some of the most noted jazz figures of our time. Vocalists: June Christy, Anita O'Day, Chris Connor, Ann Richards, The Four Freshmen, Jeri Winters, Dave Lambert, Jean Turner; Arrangers/Composers: Gerry Mulligan, Allyn Ferguson, Manny Albam, Russ Garcia, Lennie Niehaus, Gene Roland, Lalo Schifrin, Shorty Rogers, Bill Holman, Marty Paich, Bill Russo, Neal Hefti, Pete Rugolo, Bob Graettinger, Hugo Montenegro, Johnny Richards, Willie Maiden, Dee Barton, Hank Levy, Bob Curnow, Ken Hanna, Mark Taylor, Alan Yankee; Alto Saxophonists: Bud Shank, Lennie Niehaus, Lee Konitz, Charlie Mariano, Art Pepper, Tony Campise, John Park, Gabe Baltazar, David Schildkraut, Vinnie Dean, Boots Mussulli; Tenor Saxophonists: Stan Getz, Sam Donahue, Richie Kamuca, Zoot Sims, Buddy Collette, Vido Musso, Bill Perkins, Bob Cooper, Red Dorris, Jimmy Giuffre, Bill Holman, Don Menza; Baritone Saxophonists: Pepper Adams, Bob Gioga, Bob Gordon, Jack Nimitz, Billy Root, Alan Yankee; Trumpeters: Conte and Pete Candoli, Sam Noto, Ernie Royal, Al Porcino, Buddy Childers, Rolf Erickson, Maynard Ferguson, Jack Sheldon, Bud Brisbois, Gary Barone, Dalton Smith, Marvin Stamm, Gappy Lewis, Mike Vax; Trombonists: Frank Rosolino, Carl Fontana, Milt Bernhart, Kai Winding, Bobby Burgess, Kent Larsen, Bob Fitzpatrick, Archie LeCoque, George Roberts, Jim Amlotte, Dick Shearer; French Hornist Julius Watkins; Mellophoniumists: Joe Burnett, Tom Wirtel, Lou Gasga; Guitarists: Ralph Blaze, Laurindo Almeida, Sal Salvador, Bill Strange; Bassists: Eddie Safranski, Don Bagley, Red Mitchell, Curtis Counce, Pat Senatore, Monte Budwig, Howard Rumsey, Kerby Stewart; Drummers; Stan Levey, Shelly Manne, Charlie Perry, Irv Kluger, Mel Lewis, Chuck Flores, Peter Erskine, Gary Hobbs, Jerry McKenzie and Percussionists: Jack Costanza, Larry Bunker, Frank De Vito, Ramon Lopez. …”

Perhaps long time colleague and admirer Frank Sinatra best summed up the Kenton contribution:

‘Stan Kenton is the most significant figure of the modern jazz age. His fight to popularize modern jazz won him a legion of followers, but this was not an easy road ... In every time there are men whose special role it is to give expression to the spirit of their day. They become its symbols, each in his own field of art. Stan Kenton is such an individual, the symbol of a vibrant world that finds its voice in jazz. His story is, in many ways, the story of modern jazz, and this musical era is his ...

Kenton felt a personalized sympathy toward jazz . . . Kenton has always felt that music is food for the emotions, and that greater demands are being made of it continuously because we are reaching deeper into our inner selves . . .

When broadcasting, playing concerts or dance dates, Kenton always credits his musicians. Their names are always mentioned, who wrote or arranged the compositions, who plays solo. His men never go unnoticed. He often adds touches of humor and is rarely lost for words. His shows are all adlibbed. Kenton's manner of presentation has never failed to inspire enthusiasm in every audience ....
(Christopher Mueller and Dr. Siegfried Mueller, Artistry in Kenton, Vols. I, II, 1968 and 1973, Vienna: privately published).’

This book traces the history of the life and professional activities of Stan Kenton and those who were fortunate enough to be touched by his personal, professional, and artistic genius.

William F. Lee
Coral GablesFlorida 1980
[Please click on the “X” to close out of the ads.]

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Stan Kenton - The Later Years [From the Archives]

© -Steven Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.

“[Mike] Vax claimed Warren Gale to be the most significant [trumpet] soloist in the [Kenton] band: ‘If ever there was a fiery Jazz trumpet player that was perfect for the Kenton band it was Warren.  …’

‘Dick Shearer was the most important person on the band. I think that Stan felt about him like a son. … the thing is, the way Dick played trombone, that was the Kenton sound. Dick’s trombone was derivative of all the great Kenton lead players, going all the way back to Kai Winding. But sometimes the person who’s the end of a legacy, becomes the culmination of the legacy, so I think Dick was the greatest lead trombone player of them all.’”

- Mike Vax, lead trumpet player with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, as quoted in Michael Sparke, Stan Kenton: This is an Orchestra! [DentonTXUniversity of North Texas Press, 2010, p. 222].

A number of the guys I grew up playing music with – among them, trumpeter Warren Gale and trombonist Dick Shearer – later went on the Kenton band, roughly around the mid-to-late 1960s.

When I first gigged with Warren, he was living in Long BeachCA and playing like Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard during their years with drummer Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Given his captivation with Lee and Freddie’s hard-bop style of trumpet playing, in a million years I wouldn’t have figured him for the Kenton Band.

Dick Shearer, on the other hand, rarely talked about doing anything else. Playing trombone with Stan Kenton’s Orchestra was a dream come through for Dick.  Not many of us get to realize our dreams. Dick did.

While Warren, Dick and others [Ray Reed] were making their journey through Kenton’s music. I was making my own journey, thanks to a government sponsored trip aboard. When I got back, the world had changed and so had I.

I moved away from performing music and on to others things in my life.

But Stan’s music always continued to fascinated me and I vicariously followed it as it made its way around various colleges campuses in nearby Redlands, California or in such far-flung places as Provo, Utah [Brigham Young University] and IndianapolisIndiana [Butler University].

In all my years of following it, I never knew there was so much to know about the Stan Kenton Orchestra, that is, until I read Michael Sparke’s book about the band entitled Stan Kenton: This is an Orchestra!.

Published in April, 2010 by the University of North Texas Press, it offers a detailed, chronological analysis of the band from its beginnings in 1941 until Stan’s death in 1979.

The editorial staff at JazzProfiles is especially indebted to Michael [isn’t everyone who ever wanted to know more about Stan and his music?] for his chapters on The Later Years of the band’s existence, a period of the band's history about which we lacked details.

For a variety of reasons, fans of the Kenton band, particularly those who followed it closely in the 1940s and 1950s, were not partial to Stan’s music during the last decade-and-a-half of its existence. I had the impression from some of musicians on the band at this time that they were keenly aware of this bias and felt it to be undeserved.

As Michael Sparke explains it:

“Musicians from the Seventies often feel like the underdogs, because they know they played good music well, yet in general it is the earlier bands that are most often feted and remembered. In moments of hon­esty, however, many will admit they understand and endorse this com­prehension. The truth is, none of the few remaining touring bands of the Seventies, whose leaders roamed the land like the sole remaining dino­saurs of an almost-extinct species, were quite the same as they had been in their younger days. Conditions were so totally different the decline was inevitable, especially as age and illness took its toll. But it is also true, many talented musicians worked for Kenton in the Seventies, and a lot of significant music was played. The listener who ignores this last decade will be the loser.” [p.222]

In addition to all of the fabulous music they performed, much of it extremely challenging both from a compositional standpoint and because of its use of unusual time signatures, Stan and The Later Years orchestras made a very significant contribution to Jazz education by their presence at clinics held at many of the country’s universities.

Stan embraced these teaching laboratories as a way of perpetuating Jazz and its traditions, as well as, a means of developing future performers for his and other big bands.

With the end of the Neophonic Orchestra after four seasons in 1968, Stan really poured his heart and soul into these music camps which usually began and ended with a concert by the orchestra with various teaching scenarios contained in between these performances.

We thought we’d end this multi-part look at the music of Stan Kenton by sharing the liner notes from the Creative World 2 LP album Stan Kenton & His Orchestra: Live at Redlands University [ST-1015; reissued on CD as GNP Crescendo GNPD-1015] to place Stan and the orchestra’s relationship to the Jazz education in a broader context.

At the conclusion of this piece, you can also view a video that employs an audio track consisting of Ken Hanna’s Tiare, from the Stan Kenton & His Orchestra: Live at Redlands University album. We picked this music because trombonist Dick Shearer is well-heard on it and we wanted to serve the memory of “Dickus” as we come to the end of our visit with Stan Kenton’s music.

For those who may not be aware, Kenton’s library of arrangements was bequeath to the University of North Texas [Denton., TX] where the legacy of Kenton’s orchestral Jazz continues to be honored by the many fine bands comprised of the students at the university and their teachers.

© -Stan Kenton/Creative World Records, copyright protected; all rights reserved.


“This two-record album was recorded live at a special concert at Redlands University under the most unique circumstances. Unique because the audience consisted of student musicians, music educators and the teach­ing staff which had gathered for this year's week of "Kenton Clinics."

Due to its deep involvement with the study of Jazz, the audience proved to be not only sensitively perceptive to the music played but very critical of how it was per­formed by the Kenton Orchestra. This challenge, from student to professional musician, fanned itself to burning excitement as the band outdid itself to provide total communication with this select audience.

Many of the selections were recorded at the request of the many Kenton fans who had heard them played at concerts while the band was on tour. Four have never been recorded by anyone as they were written especially for the Kenton Orchestra. The recordings on this concert album are vivid, exciting testimony to the total communi­cation which took place at Redlands University between music students, educators and the Stan Kenton Orchestra, who firmly established itself as their "Jazz Orchestra In Residence."

'The Jazz Orchestra In Residence" concept evolved from the many fruitful and informative years of the "Kenton Clinics." This new idea places the full Kenton Orchestra in a college or university for three days to a week where they work in conjunction with the music and humanities departments as a closely related and integrated extension of both. By exposing the students to the professional standards of actual performing dem­onstrations, the band creates exciting examples that establish goals for the young musicians to pursue.

The "Jazz Orchestra In Residence" program is com­posed of highly intense sessions which cover all perti­nent aspects of Jazz in order to provide the student with a further well-rounded, all encompassing knowledge of music. Courses include Jazz Improvisation, Composition and Arranging, and Instrumental Clinics, in which the solutions to problems most often encountered with the various instruments are discussed and examined. Two of the many related lectures include "Jazz and the Humanities" and "Jazz, The Extension to the Formal Study of Music."

As an adjunct, Kenton has produced two color films on Jazz: 'The Substance of Jazz," which describes how and why Jazz is so different from all other musical forms and "The Crusade for Jazz," a one-hour documentary which takes the viewer on an intimate road trip by bus with the band, where they are confronted with the dis­comfort of living out of a suitcase for three months, the one night stands and eating on the run; but most of all, the viewer feels all the excitement generated by each member of the band just before curtain time, and the deep sense of personal involvement each one has with the band and the music they love to play anywhere: Jazz.

During the "Jazz Orchestra In Residence" the musi­cians carefully nurture each student's particular prob­lem until finally, at week's end, a new awareness has taken place within these youngsters; an awareness that has them reaching notes they couldn't have imagined earlier, playing complex arrangements and even writ­ing an original score for the Kenton band to play and comment on. Most important, they have developed a sensitive understanding, not just for music and their own ability, but for the innovative and deeply personal excite­ment of Jazz.

The pictures point out the intense interest and serious­ness of the students. Their enthusiasm became so boundless that even while eating, the discussion was Jazz and their own expanding musical horizons. The "Creative World of Stan Kenton" has been closely asso­ciated with university music education for many years by furnishing professional orchestrations for the student musician. The "Jazz Orchestra In Residence" concept now provides the serious student the opportunity of working with the professional musician who plays these intricate scores in front of thousands of Jazz fans in con­cert halls and night clubs throughout the country.

This concept is proving so successful that the Kenton Orchestra is making plans to expand these three day to a week appearances greatly during their normal concert tour as extensions to regular music department curricula.

Redlands University's "Jazz Orchestra In Residence" has worked. It is already turning out musicians today who will soon become the Jazz innovators and teachers of tomorrow.”

Monday, June 23, 2014

Pub Crawling with Jimmy Deuchar and The Lads [From the Archives]

© -  Steven A. Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.

“[Jimmy Deuchar] …the great Scot, whose sound sometimes seemed like a hybrid of Bunny Berigan and Fats Navarro, and who is usually recognizable within a few bars - taut, hot, but capable of bursts of great lyricism.”
- Richard Cook and Brian Morton The Penguin Guide to jazz on CD, 6th Ed

"If the Union problem didn't exist, I'd take Jimmy Deuchar back to California with me tomorrow. He's one of the finest trumpeters I've ever heard; and his all-round musicianship is fantastic." That's what American pianist-arranger-composer Marty Paich told me during a Deuchar disc date when Marty was in London in 1956.
- Tony Hall, insert notes, Jimmy Deuchar: Opus de Funk [Jasmine JASCD 621]

“[Starting with his recordings in the early 1950’s with Victor Feldman’s All-Stars, Arnold Ross’ Sextet and Johnny Dankworth’s Septet], … the bright burnished sound of Jimmy Deuchar was already showing its individuality within the parameters of modern Jazz trumpet.”
- Brian Davis, insert notes, Bop in Britain [Jasmine JASCD 637-38]

Although it took me a while to grasp how far-flung its influence was, culturally, one of the USA’s greatest gifts to the world is Jazz in all its manifestations.

In retrospect, I became aware that through Willis Conover’s Voice-of-America [a friend's Dad was into short wave radio broadcasts] and a variety of European-based radio broadcasts, exported US records and vibrant domestic recording labels in a host of European countries and the efforts of visiting or expatriate Jazz musicians, Jazz thrived in far-flung places like Great Britain, France, Sweden, The Netherlands, Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Japan.

And where it wasn’t allow to flourish openly, a serious Jazz underground following developed in central Europe and The Soviet Union.

Thanks to many generous urbane and cosmopolitan friends, then and now, my awareness of Jazz on the international scene has grown over the years much to my satisfaction and enjoyment.

My first exposure to Jazz abroad were a series of Jazz in Britain recordings that Lester Koenig released on Contemporary Records, a Hollywood, California based label whose “corporate offices” and “recording studios” were conveniently located about 10 miles from where I went to high school.

Lester’s “corporate offices” consisted of a small storefront near Paramount Movie Studios on Melrose Avenue and his “recording studio” was sometimes set up in the back room where he packed and shipped his LP’s.

Lester’s “British Jazz” LP’s were actually re-issues of recordings that had originally been produced for London-based labels such as Tempo and Jasmine. [Essentially, Lester was reversing the process and “importing” Jazz back into the United States!]

One of these was the late drummer-vibraphonist-pianist Victor Feldman’s Suite Sixteen [Contemporary C-3541;OJCCD-1768-2].  Issued in 1958, this LP was comprised of quartet, septet and big band recordings that Victor had made in England in 1955 before taking up residence in the USA the following year.

This album was my first introduction to Brits or, if you will, the “Lads,” in modern-day parlance, such as trumpeter Dizzy Reece, trombonist and bass trumpeter, Ken Wray alto saxophonist Derek Humble, tenor saxophonists Ronnie Scott and Tubby Hayes, bassist Lennie Bush and drummers Tony Crombie and Phil Seaman.

Although he only solos on three of the albums nine tracks, the player who impressed me the most on Victor’s Suite Sixteen was trumpeter Jimmy Deuchar [pronounced “dew-car”].

Imagine my delight then when Lester Koenig did it again, this time with six tracks by “the young Scotsman,” entitled Pub Crawling with Jimmy Deuchar [Contemporary C-3529].  I gather that the idea for the album’s title comes from the fact that each of its six tracks is named after one of the best known British brands of beer.

The album was also released in the USA in 1958 and if I heard a glimmer of something earlier in Jimmy’s playing, the work of “this exceptional young, Scottish trumpeter-arranger-composer” comes bursting through on these sides.

In addition to his brilliant solo stylings, Pub Crawling with Jimmy Deuchar also introduces Jimmy as an extremely talented composer-arranger who writes in a style that is very reminiscent of the late Tadd Dameron.

Fortunately, I was later able to cobble together more of Jimmy’s recordings when they were issued on CD including Showcase [Jasmine JASCD 616], Opus de Funk [Jasmine JASCD 621] and Pal Jimmy [Jasmine JASCD 624].

On hand on these discs is lots more of the fine playing of Wray, Humble, Hayes, Scott, Bush, Seaman and Crombie along with some players on the British Jazz scene who were unfamiliar to me at the time including pianists Terry Shannon, Stan Tracey, Eddie Harvey and Harry South, bassist Sammy Stokes and drummer Alan Ganley.

Of these recording by Jimmy Deuchar and his mates … err, “Lads,” Richard Cook and Brian Morton have written in The Penguin Guide to jazz on CD, 6th Ed.:

“These are welcome reminders of the great Scot, whose sound sometimes seemed like a hybrid of Bunny Berigan and Fats Navarro, and who is usually recognizable within a few bars - taut, hot, but capable of bursts of great lyricism.

Some of his best work is with Tubby Hayes, who himself pops up in various of these dates; but these precious survivals of the British scene of the '508 - which exist solely through the dedication and enthusiasm of Tony Hall, who oversaw all the sessions - are fine too. The first two discs are bothered by the boxy and inadequate sound (and the re-mastering, which may not be from the original tapes, is less than first class), but the playing is of a standard which may sur­prise those unfamiliar with this period of British jazz.

There are excellent contributions from Humble, Hayes, the very neglected Shannon and the redoubtable Seamen; but Deuchar, as is proper, takes the ear most readily: punchily conversational, sometimes overly clipped, but then throwing in a long, graceful line when you don't expect it, he was a distinctive stylist.

These sets are made up from EPs and ten-inch LPs, but the third reissues all of the splendid Pal Jimmy! plus a stray track from a compilation. The trumpeter's solo on the title-track blues is a classic statement. Again, less than ideal re-mastering, but with original vinyl copies of these extremely rare records costing a king's ransom, they're very welcome indeed.”

At the time of their initial release, the highly regarded Edgar Jackson had this to say in the October, 1955 British publication, The Melody Maker:

“One of the tracks on this record is probably not only the best example of British jazz in the modem manner ever to find its way on to a record but not so far short of one of the best from any­where.

The track is IPA Special (named, as are all the others, after a brand of beer.)

It shows that Jimmy Deuchar (who composed and arranged all of the tunes) is second to none in this country in the matter of thinking up and scoring out first-rate modern jazz material.

It shows also: (a) that Jimmy has become a better trumpet man than ever now that he is playing with a warmer feeling and tone, (b) that while Derek Humble may not yet be the world’s greatest baritone saxophonist, he is certainly a grand, driving altoist, (c) that Ken Wray is one of our most original and advanced trombonists, and (d) that British rhythm sections are not always as gauche and stodgy as they are often said to be.

The record as a whole, with Jimmy never failing to convince as a skillful and captivating writer, and Victor Feldman playing tasteful and delightful piano, is a relieving and refreshing indication that our best modern jazzmen can compete with the best anywhere else—when given a fair chance.

The recording itself is excellent.   But I would hardly have expected any­thing else, for the session engineer was Decca's brilliant Arthur Lilley.”

Jimmy’s solos shimmer in their vibrancy. Fats Navarro. Clifford Brown, Carmel Jones and a host of the trumpet soloists who display a fat, full, fiery sound in their phrasing come to mind, but Jimmy is his own man.

The construction of his improvised lines is marked by coherence and continuity, but most of all, by originality. You just don’t hear other trumpeters playing Jimmy’s stuff.

I was especially pleased to rediscover Jimmy’s powerhouse trumpet playing on many of the Clarke Boland Big Band [CBBB] recordings from the 1960s.

According to tenor saxophonist Ronnie Scott [who would later join the CBBB]: “Derek Humble was the navigator-in-chief on the band and one of his first recommendations to Kenny Clarke and Francy Boland was to bring Jimmy Deuchar on the band to play the Jazz trumpet chair.”

As Mike Hennessey noted in his chapter on the CBBB from his biography of drummer Kenny Clarke: “Seven of the thirteen musicians in the band were European and their ability to hold their own with their [expatriate] American colleagues did no damage at all to the cause of winning a just measure of appreciation and recognition for some of the excellent European Jazz musicians who were emerging.” [pp. 165-166]

If you have not had the pleasure of having heard Jimmy Deuchar, his playing and that of the Lads – Ken Wray [bass trumpet], Derek Humble [as], Tubby Hayes [ts], Victor Feldman [p], Lennie Bush [b] and Phil Seamen [d] - is on display on the following tribute. The tune is Jimmy’s Treble Gold, which is named after an ale that I understand it is no longer made by the Friary Meux Brewery in Guildford.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Stan Kenton: The Kenton Era

© -  Steven A. Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.

“In every time there are men whose special role it is to give expression to the spirit of their day. The become its symbols, each in his own field of art.
Stan Kenton is such a man, the symbol of a vibrant world that finds its voice today in Jazz. His story is, in many ways, the story of modern Jazz, and this musical era is his.
Much of the era is revealed in a portrait of the man, where he came from, what he felt ….”

The title of this piece is based on the original mono 4-LP Capitol recordings which the label released as a limited numbered edition [WDX 569] in 1955. The series included a 48 page insert booklet with a narrative by Bud Freeman who is described as “… a newspaperman, publicist, and free-lance writer who has worked with many notables in the world of popular music.”  The notes go on to state that: “Extensive interviews and intensive study have given him a penetrating insight into the complex personality of the subject.”

“The Kenton Era” Capitol compilation encompasses the first 15 years or so of the Kenton band’s existence from 1941 – 1954.

In addition to the music from Stan’s early orchestras, the LPs, which were re-issued as a double CD by Sounds of Yesteryear, also include a 12-minute Prologue, in which Stan talks about the development of his music.

The 48-page booklet is absolutely gorgeous and contains a large number of illustrations and photographs of Stan and members of the band.

Given its rarity, the editorial staff at JazzProfiles thought that visitors to the site might enjoy reviewing the following excerpts and images from the LP booklet.

© -Bud Freeman and Capitol Records copyright protected; all rights reserved.


“Now, after ten years of mounting international ten­sions, the prelude to World War II had already begun. An artist had to wonder if what he was working to express mattered at all. Would another band be even a small con­tribution to the evolution of the jazz form? Why bother? Maybe music itself was just an idle accompaniment to a world blowing itself out the back.

These matters of ultimate importance seemed of imme­diate concern to Stan. He needed to believe in something, and he wanted the reasons for believing — otherwise it was all futile to him. He had under his fingers command of so many kinds of commercial music that he could be secure. It was logical and it was easy to ask, "What's the point? When there may not even be a world tomorrow, why not just take yours?"

Stan never could answer the questions. Just the same he began the band project. In irregular alternations of enthusiasm and hesitation the work grew to a sizeable collection of arrangements, promises, plans and dreams. He motivated the project and then was in turn motivated by it. In a sense the band, all those to whom he felt he was now responsible, trapped him into doing what he probably wanted to do.
He finally found reasons, but basically he came to understand that he wanted something from his audience just as the man who feels compelled to speak out to the one woman, just as the man who is compelled to threaten, to plead, or to preach.

Stan felt a personalized sympathy toward jazz. Even in this small band, he believed he could make a serious musical contribution. Even within the scope of the popu­lar song, he felt he could create a kind of depth which would be more complete than what had been done before.

This was the beginning of his own music.

In October of 1940, Stan decided to cut some test rec­ords which he could use for audition purposes. The thirteen sidemen who had been rehearsing with Stan had, in addition to their loyalty and enthusiasm for jazz, two conditions in common: they were all unemployed and, with the exception of Marvin George, the drummer, they were all under 21. Marvin was 28. He was able to help Stan with some of the administrative details.

Crowded into the tiny recording room of a Hollywood music store the band cut, among others, two originals — Etude for Saxophones and Reed Rapture— numbers which became fixtures in the Kenton book. On them Stan was able to demonstrate an unique voicing for the saxes, and the talents of an outstanding musician, altoist Jack Ordean.

The recording difficulties seemed insurmountable. Stan felt that the arrangements only became alive when the band played "out." Certainly the enthusiasm and spirit were not apparent on the records when the volume was brought down to the relatively pianissimo level the engi­neers demanded. In the end the band hit hard —the engineer tried to get as much on the disc as he could.

The band was good. Stan knew it. He was too much of a musician to deceive himself. Men like Bob Gioga, Harry Forbes, and Frank Beach had invested their time for three months. They believed more strongly than ever. Violet's enthusiasm had not lagged. He played the dubs again and again. He knew he was right. The sound was strong. It had depth. It was different. That, he told him­self, was what everyone was looking for — something different.

To sell the band, the best of the audition discs were arranged in a presentation. Stan had a general idea of the sales pitch. He didn't commit anything to memory. It was always better, he found, if he spoke from a general­ized outline. That way he didn't lose the spontaneity which, at least, convinced others that he believed in what he was selling.

One advantage in having a band - there were not many doors to try. Only a few agencies handled bands. And Stan was well enough known in Los Angeles music circles to have entrée to all of them.

Stan was received politely. He was heard. His records were heard — hesitantly, without enthusiasm, but no one was in a hurry to turn him down. It could take months to milk a "sorry, can't use it," from one of the agencies.

Stan was inclined to abstract the more encouraging aspects from his interviews. It cost the agency boys noth­ing to spread a little happiness. (Stan later learned that often the art of agency was not to sell talent but to keep it dangling, content, until a buyer happened along.)

Stan was continually faced with the request, "Why don't you leave the dubs with us for a few days?" After the few days passed he would then have tp open negotia­tions to have the agency search for the dubs, to have the dubs heard, and finally to have the dubs returned.

Armistice Day and Thanksgiving passed. When the New Year came Stan decided he had better try to find his own jobs.

In February the band auditioned for an engagement at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa. The ballroom operators had a choice between Stan Kenton's organiza­tion and that of John Costello. The emphasis on original material and jazz was a little too radical for the operator. He picked Costello for the engagement. But circumstance forced a cancellation and on Memorial Day, 1941, Stan opened at the Balboa ballroom.

With the college and high school crowd that colonized the little resort town on weekends, holidays, and vaca­tions, the young Kenton band was an immediate success. Red Dorris, tenor saxist and vocalist, became a local idol within a few weeks. Howard Rumsey, who played ampli­fied bass with spastic abandon, was known by his first name to every jazz enthusiast in the area. The attention and the adulation that the young audience heaped on Stan and the young musicians kept them playing with unflagging enthusiasm. New arrangements had to be added. By this time Stan found himself working con­tinuously on the endless ravel of details.

Ralph Yaw, a talented musician with a feeling for what Stan wanted, made some excellent contributions to the Kenton book — such as Two Moods, which starred Chico Alvarez, trumpet, Jack Ordean, and Red Dorris.

Stan himself continued to arrange. He added Arkansas Traveler and La Cumparsita to comply with the profes­sional advice which consistently suggested that he play less original material in favor of standard or currently popular music.

Whatever the criticism, it was tempered by one fact: the Kenton band interested people. The youngsters turned out; business was healthy. Stan was booked for the sum­mer at the Balboa ballroom. Three times a week the Mutual Network broadcast Stan Kenton's music.

Stan, Bob Gioga, and Marvin George tried to gauge their success. It appeared to them that they had found an enthusiastic group of local boosters. The same faces seemed to be at the ballroom every night. Only after the summer had passed and the band played a one-night stand at the Glendale Civic Auditorium in suburban Los Angeles, did Stan see how well the band had begun to be established. At 9:30 more than 2000 people jammed the hall. There were nearly twice that number lined up outside.

Prospects were impressive. Finances were low. The band was booked in Portland and, Stan thought, on a string of one-nighters. From a sound engineer he bor­rowed $300 which he rationed, $20 per man.

When the band arrived in the northwest, bookings turned out to be for weekends only. The take of the side-men was not more than $30 weekly — a thin slice for a man on the road, particularly if he had to support a wife back in Los Angeles.
Pinned down by a Friday and Saturday engagement which wouldn't pay for the past week's expenses, Stan and the men were restless and discouraged. There was talk of giving up the project.

The band was saved by one of those circumstances which occur so regularly in success stories as to be almost a prerequisite of success itself. There was an open date in the booking of the huge Hollywood dance hall, the Palladium. The owner, Maury Cohen, it happened, had gone to the Glendale Civic Auditorium to hear Stan's band. While Cohen was not particularly taken with Stan's music, the crowd outside and inside was the kind of evi­dence which forced an operator to overcome his taste.

When Cohen couldn't find a name band for the Palla­dium, he wired Stan. The homecoming engagement saved the band. The young crowd swarmed to the Palladium, and Stan was in a position to command national atten­tion through nightly broadcasts. Variety and The Bill­board passed the word on to the trade that an "attraction" had been born on the West Coast. The youngsters jammed around the bandstand and called for St. James Infirmary or Lamento Gitano—and all the musical and satirical pro­ductions which the band played for listening. The enthusi­asm of the audience and the personality of the band came over the air. By the end of the engagement the word was that Kenton was going to be important. A New York date was waiting. Stan had an eight-week engagement at Rose-land, the nation's most famous dime-a-dance hall.

It was a happy time. Band morale was high, and Stan wanted to keep it that way. On the trip back East, Stan took Violet and his young daughter. He invited the men to bring their families. With eight wives, five children, and several household pets, the band left for New York.


The appearance of the Kenton organization at the Roseland Ballroom was an event in the music world. The jazz intellects wanted to know what, if anything, Stan Kenton had "to say." The business end of music — agents, hookers, and location owners—could make money from Kenton if he proved to be a bona fide attraction. The publishers might find a fresh voice to sell new songs or re-sell their old ones. Arrangers and musicians were curious to see if Stan could really push himself to a commercial success on the type of music he had been broadcasting.

Stan had been on the air too often to expect that his music would shock or even surprise anyone. In person, however, the band did jolt the critics, operators, and the dancers. Personally Stan won the friendship of the eastern music columnists. They were sympathetic but, for the most part, didn't care for the music. Strangely enough, nearly all the criticism was qualified with prophecies of success.

With the regular patrons of Roseland, the Kenton band was a dismal failure. There were only two serious rea­sons for attending the ballroom: to dance or to socialize with the hostesses. The tempos that kept the California jitterbugs happy did not prove suitable for interpreting the Peabody or the tango and Stan's band played too loud for any subtle exchanges between the hostesses and guests. They couldn't hear themselves talk.

By mutual agreement Stan and the Roseland manage­ment terminated their agreement in three weeks instead of the contracted eight.

Though the band was kept working immediately after­wards, the engagement at Roseland was regarded as a failure. Stan was swamped with advice. In and out of the organization, for all kinds of reasons — even disinterested — Stan's acquaintances were afraid he would miss his opportunity for the big money. There were still many complaints that the band played too much original music. Stan began to add pop tunes and standards. He tried to tone the band down, tried to compromise on some of the arrangements. He tried to please everyone.

In September of 1942, Stan played the Summit in Baltimore. The complaints and the advice were as omi­nous, as varied, and as frequent as ever. Looking back over six months he found the band had achieved a string of commercial successes in clubs, theatres, and dance halls. Whether he had done so well because or in spite of the advice, he couldn't tell, but he saw that continual changes in approach were obstructing the growth of the band, providing an irritant to the men and to himself. It would be simpler, he decided, to stand or fall on his original convictions — jazz as he heard and felt it.

In Baltimore the first of a series of personnel changes began which continued throughout the war. Marvin George, Jack Ordean, and Howard Rumsey left the band.

Stan had added Ted Repay, piano, some time earlier. At the Summit engagement vocalist Dolly Mitchell joined the band and quickly succeeded in identifying herself with the Kenton organization.

Critical acceptance improved gradually. Theatre en­gagements were consistently successful both with audiences and reviewers. The band played the shows well, and were an entertainment entity in themselves —for much of the Kenton material was designed primarily for listening.

Stan continued to do some arranging. A young writer, Joe Rizzo, proved particularly adept at arranging stand­ards for Stan. He contributed Russian Lullaby, Ol' Man River, and I Know That You Know.

Though Stan had a personal manager and an agency handling the business, he asked to be consulted on all details. Finding time to write was a continual problem. Finally it became necessary for Stan to search for outside arrangers who understood what he wanted. As Dolly Mitchell became more important, Stan sought writers who could create interesting vocal backgrounds for her with­out losing the essential quality of the band. Charles Shirley brought Salt Lake City to Stan. It was incorpo­rated in the book along with other Shirley works includ­ing Liza, which featured a Red Dorris solo. (For his singing Red had been given consistently uninspired re­views. But as an instrumentalist, he continued to improve until he was drawing critical acclaim.)

In 1944 Dolly Mitchell left the band and Anita O'Day, widely known for her work with Gene Krupa, joined Stan along with a young male vocalist and arranger, Gene Howard.

A considerable quantity of material was mailed or brought in to the Kenton organization. After rehearsal one afternoon in a San Francisco theatre Stan saw a young soldier waiting. It was Pfc. Pete Rugolo, a stu­dent of Darius Milhaud at Mills College. Rugolo had written an original composition and arrangement which he thought would be fine for the Kenton band. The name of the selection was Opus a Dollar Three Eighty.

It was three months before Stan found time to read down the arrangement. As soon as he did Stan began to search for Private Rugolo. Three days later he located him. On the long distance phone Stan offered Rugolo a job as soon as he was discharged from service.


In four years Stan had become famous. These were war years. The quality of continual movement, arrival, and departure common to the band was shared with the whole country. People were dignified by direction, a journey from which, eventually, they would all hope to find their way home again.

The pressure of the times and of success itself kept Stan moving. Even back home he could spend little time with Violet and the child. He had signed with Capitol Records, a company whose main offices were in Holly­wood. As soon as he hit town Stan would begin to prepare for recording sessions. Then there were the commercial engagements, broadcasts, rehearsals, auditions and the performances for men and women in the Armed Services.

There was, too, a constant turnover in personnel. Of all those who started at Balboa in 1941 only Bob Gioga and Stan were deferred from service. Once at the Para­mount Theatre in New York the Kenton band opened with nine new men. Many musicians who became famous in jazz joined Stan during the war years: Eddie Safranski, Vido Musso, Buddy Childers, Boots Mussulli,Ray Wetzel. Anita O'Day left the band, and in Chicago a school girl named Shirley Luster auditioned for Stan. He signed her, and changed her name to June Christy.

By 1945 the band was a strange mixture of personali­ties: returned veterans, youngsters of sixteen, young men classified and waiting to be called, older men being re-culled and reclassified. The personalities and peculiarities of the sidemen were as diverse as their ages.

One of the sixteen year olds had come to Stan after two years with a well known jazz group. He was a lover — with five unfortunate experiences to prove it. An older man was a professional Milquetoast. He carried the spending money he allowed himself in a compartmen­talized change purse with sections for food, incidental, and entertainment money. Sticking religiously to his discipline, he would refuse to join the others at a motion picture if he had, for the week, run out of cash for entertainment.

There was one known as "wigless." The others said of him, "all talent — no brains." He was continually leav­ing his possessions, including his instrument, at the pre­vious engagement. Faced with his delinquencies he would shout angrily at the men in the band, "Why did you let me do it? You know I'm not responsible!"

Some squandered. A few found business opportunities everywhere. There was the "operator." If he had nothing else to do he'd find himself a pawn shop and haggle with the owner. In four years with the band the operator never bought anything he didn't turn over for a profit.

There were solid citizens. There were touchy and tem­peramental ones. A soloist, nearly thirty, was disturbed almost to the point of quitting when one of the other side-men said, 'Thanks, old man." He felt it was a reflection on his advancing years.
There were the clowns and the practical jokers. One night in Minneapolis, Stan, at the mike, announced the first number of the evening, I've Got the World on a String. He walked to the piano which had, since rehearsal, been placed on a shallow platform. Before he could give the downbeat, Stan tripped and fell, disappearing completely from sight. The audience gasped. There was complete silence. Bob Gioga immediately stepped to the mike and announced, "Our next number will be Tea for Two."

Beyond the petty irritations of living together there were very few personality conflicts. To the younger men who joined the band, Stan was an institution. The older men knew Stan's reputation for treating his sidemen fairly and courteously.
After the war ended, some of the former members of the band returned. By early 1946 the personnel and busi­ness side of the organization had become stabilized. The appeal of the band was at its height. The annual polls named "Artistry in Rhythm" the most popular music of the year. Financially the Kenton organization could not have done any better.

More than a third of the sidemen, the core of the band, had been traveling almost continually for two years. The men were worn physically. Stan himself found it increasingly difficult to drive himself. It had been five years since he and Violet had, for any period of time, a life together.

On the bandstand at Tuscaloosa playing a University of Alabama dance, Stan looked at the men, listened to the music, felt his own weary loneliness.
After the dance, Stan announced that he was disband­ing. The men were given three weeks1 salary and their fares. Stan wired Violet that he was on his way home.


There were peaceful months of recuperation. Stan, Violet, and little Leslie (now seven years old) vacationed in South America. Stan began to see that should he con­tinue the tours it would ultimately force him to make a choice between the band and his family. Quite un-dramatically, he discussed it with Violet. Their life together had been reduced to six weeks a year. The arrangement was far from satisfactory. It could not continue.

But the alternatives were not as drastic as "music or the family." Recording, arranging, conducting, compos­ing provided many situations in which Stan's talents were welcome. Though it would mean giving up the band, Stan could stay in California and continue working in music at any number of interesting and well-paying jobs.

Too, there were opportunities outside of music which, from the standpoint of money, were attractive. Stan tried to evaluate each of the different prospects. Violet listened and — to the best of her ability — allowed Stan complete freedom in choosing his direction.

At home Stan continually played back the recordings of all his bands. In the work he found much of which he was proud. It was incomplete, but it was, Stan felt, a beginning.

He was rested. He felt full, fat, and lazy. At times he grew lonesome to hear the sounds again, the pulse of the band — even to feel the airy, nervous clarity which came from too much coffee, too many cigarettes, and too little sleep.
By the middle of summer the pressures, external and internal, began to increase. He was a musician, a traveler, and he was a money-maker. Someone was always after him.

There had to be another year on the road. There was a possibility that a concert attraction would be the solu­tion. If concerts were successful it would not be neces­sary, Stan believed, to stay on tour more than four months a year. He discussed the idea with arrangers Pete Rugolo and Ken Hanna. They were eager to try. Violet, too, was enthusiastic about the project.

They all agreed that the most logical approach would be to use the nineteen piece "Artistry" band. The per­sonnel had, since the war, become stable. Boots Mussulli, Vido Musso, Shelly Manne, Kai Winding, Eddie Safranski, and Milt Bernhart were, in themselves, attractions. If, with them, the Kenton band could not draw the young crowd into halls, make them sit and listen, then, Stan and Violet believed, the concert idea would never work.

Some of the dance items were kept in the repertoire: If I Could Be With You, Artistry in Harlem Swing, and By the River St. Marie. Numbers which had proven suc­cessful in theatres, on records, and at the colleges were shuffled back and forth in the program. With this small band Stan did not believe he had the scope to offer a full concert of modern music.

Though the instrumentation, except for the addition of Jack Costanzo on bongos, would be the same as the "Artistry" band, Stan decided to try the title, "Progressive Jazz," a banner he felt was truly descriptive. The concerts would be essentially a test. If they were successful Stan hoped in the future to develop the idea with a large orchestra.

Rehearsals were called.

The Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa agreed to go along with Stan's experiment. They rented 3000 camp chairs, released advertising and publicity for a Sunday afternoon concert late in September. Two days after tickets went on sale all seats were gone.

The Kenton management decided to book a series of sixteen dates at such established concert halls as the Acad­emy of MusicPhiladelphia, the Civic Opera, Chicago, Symphony Hall, Boston, and Carnegie HallNew York.

The concerts were fitted between regular bookings. Nothing Stan ever did proved more successful. Variety headlined, "Kenton’s Carnegie Hall Concert a Killer Both Artistically and at B.O." In its story, the show busi­ness "bible" stated: "Kenton's success is based on his constant striving for new paths in music, his band's ex­cellent understanding of it... His music, filled with dissonant and atonal chords, barrels of percussion and blaring, but tremendously precise, brass, could probably be compared in the jazz field to the music of Stravinsky and Shostakovich."

George Simon in Metronome was less ecstatic. "It [the band] has, in Stan and Pete, two intense, enthusiastic musicians who are firmly convinced they are making for progress in jazz. Unfortunately, I think, Stan and Pete and the men who play their music so well are deeply shrouded under a neurotic conception of jazz if not of all music. Their stuff is not mellow, but megalomaniacal, constructed mechanically of some of the familiar sounds and effects of modern composers, from Bartok to Bongo Drums, with little apparent feeling for the jazz medium and none at all for the subtleties of idea and emotion which support every roar ever heard in music." And in conclusion Simon added, "Lurking behind this sad mu­sical tale is a personal one, for me, at least, sadder still. Stan and Pete and June and the band and its manager Carlos Gastel are among the very nicest people this busi­ness has ever seduced. But their collective effort, mighty as it is, is not making it. It couldn't have not happened to a nicer bunch of people."

Stan continued touring the dance circuit. The influence of the "Progressive" aspect modified all the music the band played. Even Sophisticated Lady and June Christy's Over the Rainbow were progressively shaded.

Playing concerts and dance engagements, the band worked its way West.

On June 12, 1948, Stan Kenton, his band, and June Christy packed 15,000 people into the Hollywood Bowl for a concert in "Progressive Jazz." All the hopes and effort that had gone into Stan's music were, to him, justified by this acceptance. The entire program, but par­ticularly the originals, Machito, Interlude, and George Weidler interpreting Elegy for Alto, were received with towering applause.

Throughout July and August, Stan had accepted scat­tered concert bookings. He had only a few days here and there for the family after traveling time and the press of business arrangements. Early in June he had come to a parting of the ways with his long time manager, Carlos Gastel. Gastel felt the concerts would ultimately destroy Stan's wider appeal. Stan believed he had to press the concert idea. The separation was amicable. Stan and Carlos had worked together for seven years with only a handshake between them.

In September the band headed east again, fulfilling concert dates and one-nighters. The schism between the dance and the progressive side of the music was exuber­antly demonstrated at one college dance. A group began to chant for the concert pieces. Those who wished to dance were disturbed. The discussion became an argu­ment, the argument a brawl.

The last of the concert engagements had been sched­uled for December. At that time, Stan decided, he would conclude his "Progressive Jazz." The men were weary. Physically and emotionally he had driven himself one fatiguing day after another to the point of exhaustion.

It seemed to him that he had lived enough music. At last, he believed, he could turn to something else. The concerts had given him not more time at home, but less.

When Stan concluded the last "Progressive" concert the Kenton organization was, according to the theatrical trades, the biggest box office aggregation in the country.”

The booklet then moves on to the 1950-51 Innovations Orchestra, which we have covered in a previous piece, and concludes with The New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm bands, which we will profile in a future feature.