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Stan Kenton

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Dec. 15, 1911 Aug. 25, 1979


Stan Kenton is featured playing with his "Mellophonium Band" during a 1962 episode of "Jazz Scene USA".

Pianist & composer Stan Kenton formed his own West Coast jazz band in the Spring of 1941 which would develop into one of the best-known ensembles of the 1940s.

By the mid-'40s, Kenton's style became known as "The Wall of Sound", (a tag later used by Phil Spector). His loud ensembles often featured strange original arrangements performed by dozen or more musicians simultaneously.

Kenton assembled his most advanced band in 1950, the 39-piece Innovations in Modern Music Orchestra which included sixteen strings, a woodwind section, and two French horns. Its music ranged from the unique dense modern classical charts of Bob Graettinger to heavily weighted swing.

Stan Kenton's last successful orchestral experiment was the "Mellophonium Band" he led from 1960-1963.

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