0 Recommend It! 574 views

Stan Kenton: Germany, 1953

SOURCE: Published: 2014-01-06
Stan Kenton Between 1949 and 1951, Stan Kenton led a 39-piece band known as the Innovations in Modern Music Orchestra. The band's dreamy, Wagner-esque jazz arrangements were hip for a brief period but soon took on the characteristics of a wobbly truck transporting too much fine furniture. The orchestrations didn't click with young audiences and Kenton's musicians grew weary performing the syrupy modern-classical material.

So in January 1952, Kenton abruptly retooled  and began commissioning swinging charts by Johnny Richards, Shorty Rogers, Gerry Mulligan, Bill Holman, Gene Roland and others. In 1953, Kenton's swinging New Concepts band toured the U.S. and Europe, exciting audiences wherever it played. Unfortunately, there's little footage of the early stages of what would go on to become the heart of Kenton's signature sound. 

Last week, a reader in Germany made me aware of an amazing clip. It's from a German film directed by Erik Ode called Schlagerparade [Hit Parade]. It features a thin story about an unknown German composer whose works are credited to another artist. For the most part, it's a showcase for performers including Kenton, Rolf Kühn, the Werner Müller RIAS orchestra and others—many of whom play themselves in the film (more information here.)

For the film, the Kenton Orchestra was captured in Berlin on August 27, 1953 and featured Buddy Childers, Vic Minichiello, Conte Candoli, Don Dennis, Don Smith (tp) Bob Burgess, Frank Rosolino, Keith Moon (tb) Bill Russo (tb) Bill Smiley (b-tb) Dave Schildkraut, Lee Konitz (as) Bill Holman (ts,arr) Zoot Sims (ts) Tony Ferina (bar) Stan Kenton (p,arr) Barry Galbraith (g) Don Bagley (b) and Stan Levey (d). 

To my ear, the song is Gerry Mulligan's arrangement of Limelight. As you'll see, the lighting guy had a field day. Solos by Frank Rosolino
Frank Rosolino
Frank Rosolino
1926 - 1978
trombone
, Lee Konitz
Lee Konitz
Lee Konitz
b.1927
sax, alto
, Zoot Sims
Zoot Sims
Zoot Sims
1925 - 1985
sax, tenor
and Conte Candoli
Conte Candoli
Conte Candoli
1927 - 2001
trumpet
. This is an orchestra!


View the original article...

This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.
comments powered by Disqus
Read the All About Jazz Magazine - Free!

Read the All About Jazz Magazine - It's free!

Jam-packed with 100 pages covering a wide range of styles, subjects and from around the world—each issue includes interviews, profiles, columns, album reviews, web site news, and free MP3s. The AAJ magazine is available across all devices, can be shared socially, and opened from anywhere without the need to download an app.

Read the Winter 2014 Edition

Weekly Giveaways

Ed Palermo

Ed Palermo
About | Enter

Matthew Shipp

Matthew Shipp
About | Enter

Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley
About | Enter

Tord Gustavsen

Tord Gustavsen
About | Enter