All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Stan Kenton

Stan Kenton Stan Kenton

Stanley Newcomb Kenton (December 15, 1911 - August 25, 1979) led a highly innovative, influential, and often controversial American jazz orchestra. In later years he was widely active as an educator.

Stan Kenton was born in Wichita, Kansas, and raised first in Colorado and then in California. He learned piano as a child, and while still a teenager toured with various bands. In June 1941 he formed his own band, which developed into one of the best-known West Coast ensembles of the Forties.

Kenton's musical aggregations were decidedly “orchestras.” Sometimes consisting of two dozen or more musicians at once, they produced an unmistakable Kenton sound--as recognizable as that of the bands of Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, or Count Basie. So large an orchestra was able to produce a tremendous, at times overpowering, volume in the dance and concert halls of the land; among musical conservatives it developed a reputation for playing strange-sounding pieces much too loudly, and indeed one comical MC introduced Stan Kenton as “Cant Standit.”

A Kenton specialty was Afro-Cuban rhythm, as exported to North America by such bandleaders as Machito (whose brass and reed sound, in turn, began to show the influence of Kenton). Translated into the Kenton idiom, however, the Latin rhythms might be scored for a full panoply of percussion instruments: tympani, bongos, conga, timbales, claves, and maracas. This component of Kenton's work may be heard on the 1947 recording “Machito” and on the album Cuban Fire, still in print after more than fifty years of ceaseless change in popular music.

Read more

Tags

Photos

Albums

Album A Kenton Trilogy, Part 2 / The Sound of Jazz by Stan Kenton

A Kenton Trilogy,...

Sounds of Yesteryear
2020

buy
Album A Kenton Trilogy, Part 1: Dance Time by Stan Kenton

A Kenton Trilogy,...

Sounds of Yesteryear
2020

buy
Album Concert Impressions by Stan Kenton

Concert Impressions

Tantara Productions
2020

buy
Album Jazz Journey by Stan Kenton

Jazz Journey

Sounds of Yesteryear
2018

buy
Album Mellophonium Memoirs by Stan Kenton

Mellophonium Memoirs

Tantara Productions
2017

buy

Similar

Glenn Miller Glenn Miller
trombone
Artie Shaw Artie Shaw
clarinet
Woody Herman Woody Herman
band/orchestra
Harry James Harry James
trumpet
Gordon Goodwin Gordon Goodwin
composer/conductor
Charlie Barnet Charlie Barnet
composer/conductor
Jimmie Lunceford Jimmie Lunceford
composer/conductor
Ivie Anderson Ivie Anderson
voice / vocals
Claude Thornhill Claude Thornhill
voice / vocals
Billy May Billy May
composer/conductor

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.