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Stan Kenton

From Academic Kids

Stanley Newcomb Kenton (December 15, 1911 - August 25, 1979), was an American jazz pianist, vocalist, and bandleader known for his innovations in jazz music. He was born in Wichita, Kansas, but raised in California. He learned piano as a child and toured with various bands in his teens. In 1941 he formed his own band and reached the height of his popularity by 1953. Many of his band arrangements (he used anywhere from 19 to 23 musicians at a time) were written by Kenton himself, as well as other composers such as Gene Roland, Pete Rugolo, W. A. Mathieu, and Ken Hanna. The music made use of powerful brass sections and unconventional saxophone voicings, demonstrating his love of experimentation. Such examples included the various names he gave to his ensembles: "Innovations Orchestra," "Neophonic Orchestra" and "Mellophonium Orchestra." "Artistry in Rhythm" was Kenton's theme song throughout many recordings and concert performances. Noted band personnel included Art Pepper, Shelly Manne, and Buddy Childers.

Kenton's music evolved with the times throughout the 1960s and 70s, and included elements from classical music as well as rock music rhythms. His final performance was in August 1978, a year before he passed away.

He lived to see his son Lance, a key member of the Synanon drug rehabilitation cult, plead "no contest" to charges of assault and conspiracy for placing a rattlesnake in a lawyer's mailbox. (Art Pepper has been helped by Synanon a decade earlier.)de:Stan Kenton

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