Stan Kenton: This Is an Orchestra!

Stan Kenton: This Is an Orchestra!

by Michael Sparke
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Stan Kenton (1911-1979) formed his first full orchestra in 1940 and soon drew record-breaking crowds to hear and dance to his exciting sound. He continued to tour and record unrelentingly for the next four decades. Stan Kenton: This Is an Orchestra! sums up the mesmerizing bandleader at the height of his powers, arms waving energetically, his face a study of

Overview

Stan Kenton (1911-1979) formed his first full orchestra in 1940 and soon drew record-breaking crowds to hear and dance to his exciting sound. He continued to tour and record unrelentingly for the next four decades. Stan Kenton: This Is an Orchestra! sums up the mesmerizing bandleader at the height of his powers, arms waving energetically, his face a study of concentration as he cajoled, coaxed, strained, and obtained the last ounce of energy from every musician under his control. Michael Sparke's narrative captures that enthusiasm in words: a lucid account of the evolution of the Kenton Sound, and the first book to offer a critical evaluation of the role that Stan played in its creation. "Michael Sparke's book, the first general history of the Kenton Orchestra, is the best evaluation yet of Kenton's 40-year musical development."-The Wall Street Journal

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A delightful read, start to finish. The inclusion of so much primary source material makes this the most authoritative account of Kenton’s story to date. He ‘gets’ the man and the music and tells it like it was.”—Terry Vosbein, Washington and Lee University

“I read this book with mounting excitement and finished it confident that it is the best yet written on Kenton’s professional life. It is an irresistible volume that ought to be devoured in one sitting.”—Anthony Agostinelli, Kenton newsletter publisher

“Michael Sparke’s book, the first general history of the Kenton Orchestra, is the best evaluation yet of Kenton’s 40-year musical development.”—The Wall Street Journal

"This detailed and fascinating look at Kenton's long career is the best book on this musician and impresario since Carol Easton's Straight Ahead: The Story of Stan Kenton (1973). Recommended for all readers with an interest in Americana, jazz, or music generally."—Library Journal

"Packed with fascinating anecdotes and exhaustive research this book will be welcomed not only by Stan Kenton devotees but by all aficionados of the big band era."—Jazz Journal

"Michael Sparke has written a detailed, fascinating chronicle of the Stan Kenton Orchestra that enjoyed a performing and recording career covering four decades ('40s-70s). . . . Sparke's devotion to his subject is evident in his attention to detail and in presenting Kenton both as a person and as a professional."—All About Jazz-New York

"Stan Kenton: This Is an Orchestra! by Michael Sparke is an exciting addition to jazz literature. . . . This is, I believe, the single best source of information for anyone who wants to get to the crux of Stan Kenton and his music."--Jersey Jazz

Jazz Journal

"Packed with fascinating anecdotes and exhaustive research this book will be welcomed not only by Stan Kenton devotees but by all aficionados of the big band era."

All About Jazz-New York

"Michael Sparke has written a detailed, fascinating chronicle of the Stan Kenton Orchestra that enjoyed a performing and recording career covering four decades ('40s-70s). . . . Sparke's devotion to his subject is evident in his attention to detail and in presenting Kenton both as a person and as a professional."

The Wall Street Journal

“Michael Sparke’s book, the first general history of the Kenton Orchestra, is the best evaluation yet of Kenton’s 40-year musical development.”

Library Journal
Stan Kenton (1911–79) was one of the most important jazz and big band musicians of the mid-20th century. Sparke, who has published several Kenton discographies (Stan Kenton, the Studio Sessions; Kenton on Capitol & Creative World), here tries his hand at a biography. Though skimpy on Kenton's life before 1941 (the years 1911–41 are contained in a brief prelude), this is an excellent account of Kenton's 35-plus-year professional career. Much of the material is based on numerous personal interviews, including one with Kenton in 1973. Sparke writes that "some quotes have been slightly adjusted to ensure accuracy and clarity" and that some have been "amalgamated." VERDICT This detailed and fascinating look at Kenton's long career is the best book on this musician and impresario since Carol Easton's Straight Ahead: The Story of Stan Kenton (1973). Recommended for all readers with an interest in Americana, jazz, or music generally.—Bruce R. Schueneman, Texas A&M Univ. Lib., Kingsville

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781574413304
Publisher:
University of North Texas Press
Publication date:
05/15/2010
Series:
Lives of Musicians
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
3 MB

Read an Excerpt

A collection of Grimm's fairy tales illustrated by Walter Crane and Arthur Rackham (70 tales with 150 illustrations).

Meet the Author

Michael Sparke was born in Greater London, England, and continues to live there after retiring from teaching. He was first switched on to good music after hearing Woody Herman’s First Herd in 1945, and with Stan Kenton soon afterwards via Capitol shellac 78s from America sent by a pen-pal. Collaboration with the Dutch discographer Pete Venudor resulted in the discographies Kenton on Capitol and The Studio Sessions. Sparke has written liner notes for Kenton CDs on several labels, but this is his first full historical narrative about his favorite subject.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >