Album:All Time Greatest Hits
Unlike other big band leaders, Stan Kenton embraced bebop. He was criticized for this but Kenton's progressiveness served him well and his band was very successful in the 50s after other big bands had faded. He was born Dec. 15, 1911 in Witchita, KS. Because he was conceived out of wedlock, he was told that he was born Feb. 19, 1912. He was never told the truth so that date is on his gravestone. Kenton learned piano as a child. He went to high school in Bell, CA and he was already leading bands in local clubs. In the 30s, Kenton played in dance bands led by Vido Musso and Gus Arnheim. But by 1941, he started his own band and he signed with Capitol in 1943. All kinds of musicians like Stan Getz and Art Pepper went through his band. June Christy was the featured singer. Other featured musicians included Pete Rugolo, Bob Cooper, Video Musso and Kai Winding. After a year off, Kenton returned in 1950 with a new band that featured younger musicians. Swing House is from the 1952 album New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm. It was written and arranged by Gerry Mulligan. The song was not on the original 10" LP release but was added when the album was released as a 12" LP. Among the musicians on this album are Maynard Ferguson, Conte Candoli, Bill Russo, Frank Rosolino, Lee Konitz, Bill Holman, Richie Kamuca, Sal Salvador and Stan Levey. This album was released on CD in 1989 but is currently out of print. Fortunately many Kenton radio broadcasts have been released on CD by Sounds Of Yesteryear. This 2CD comp is a good intro to those broadcasts. Kenton continued to be very successful into the 70s. His career ended when he suffered a fractured skull from a 1977 fall and Kenton died on Aug. 25, 1979 at age 67. Here's Stan Kenton and his Orchestra performing Swing House at the Sporthalle in Berlin, Germany Aug. 27, 1953.