Stan Kenton on stage and on record

Posted in the Stan Kenton Forum

Craig Rich

Wichita, KS

#1 Sep 11, 2006
The first time I had the pleasure of hearing the Kenton band was my freshman year in High School. My parents let their 15 year old drive 60 miles to Wichita, Ks. mainly because two seniors they trusted went along. When we arrived, late due to a very heavy rain, we were greated by the band playing Misty with the mellophonium solo. I was a fan before that night but I was hooked by the Kenton Sound and went to every concert within driving distance plus buying every LP I could get my hands on,$3.99 for HiFi and 4.99 for stero. The last time I attended Stan's concert was at a the High School in Derby, Kansas in 1978, his last tour. The next year "the music died."

I now own 50 LPs, my old collection was distroyed by water damage, and 75 CDs. I still continue to add to my collection, receiving a LP and CD just today. Not bad for restarting my collection just last year. Since the first band I had the pleasure of hearing for the first time was the mellophonium band, I must admit they were my favorite and I buy every LP/CD from those bands.

Stan's will strictly forbid a "ghost band" but I am very happy that fromer lead trumpet and band manager Mike Vax occacionally fronts "The Mike Vax Big Band featuring the Stan Kenton Alumni." Looking at Kenton's former sidemen is like a whos who of jazz, past and present.

Heaven must have one hell of a jazz band now that Maynard has joined it. Remember that Maynard became a STAR with the Stan Kenton band, 1950-1953.
Gerry Ridley

London, UK

#2 Nov 20, 2007
I first heard the Kenton band via records when I was 13 years old in 1949. I was instantly hooked on the sound of this exciting band and have never ceased to be thrilled by the many versions of this band throughout the years. The highlight of my life was seeing the band for the first time in England at the Albert Hall 1956, the stage was set, the musicians filed on and then this giant of a man walked on stage and gave the downbeat filling the concert hall with a solid wall of sound.Truly an experience that will stay with me until I check out

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