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Teasing the Korean

THE CREATIVE WORLD OF STAN KENTON

111 posts in this topic

yes and no - Davey was a major pain in the ass in terms of getting him to go out and play - on the other hand he saw his situation as one of family and of wanting to avoid the pitfalls of the jazz life with it's attendant selfishness, sexual adventurousness, and substance abuse (and his wife was failing for years; after his daughter was killed in a car crash, Gloria just took to bed and basically never got out again, and Dave refused to leave her for any period of time).

So it was hard to argue with him - even, apparently, Charlie Parker remarked on it one night when he told Dave that he envied Dave's family life; Dave told him, "well, Bird, you could do it too, but you're always going uptown, downtown, you always have to play..." (this jibes with Al Haig's comment to me that, on some level, Bird would have liked to just be a family man).

not to mention what may have been some racial issues, because Bird also told Bill Triglia "you know, Dave's gonna have problems because he's a white guy who plays like that." Triglia was convinced that Bird thought that Dave's elusiveness was related to a certain amount of racial self-consciousness.

and it was amusing to sit one night with Bill Evans, at Evans' 50th birthday party, and hear Evans say "as far as I am concerned there were only two alto players from that era who didn't copy Bird - Lee Konitz and Dave Schildkraut. Schildkraut was one of my favorites but he refused to play. It's hard to understand such self destructive behavior." This, of course, from the guy who was slowly but surely commiting suicide.

so, yes, my comments are related to pure talent and ability, not necessarily what he, in the end, left behind -

and yet, on the other hand - with jazz you might say that most of what Schildkraut accomplished, played in person, has vanished - because look at the direct testimony of Dizzy, Mel Lewis, McLean, Getz, Ralph Burns, even Coltrane, who dedicated a song to Schildkraut at one his later Jazz Gallery gigs (Dave told me Coltrane had admired him because he - Schildkraut - was one of the first saxohonists that Coltrane heard use the altissimo range as more than just effect) - also of Buddy Rich, which I mentioned before, that Dave was the greatest clarinetist he ever heard, after Artie Shaw. (When I asked Mel Lewis about Dave, his jaw dropped and he told me I had no idea about how great a player Dave was; and Mel was no easy mark; Jackie Mclean said to me, "Is Dave still alive?", asked me for his phone number, and called him up to invite him to Hartford). So what we're testifying to is based almost solely on recordings. And though Dave was shy about that, he was, for some time, out there enough for his legend to develop by other means.

think of the old legendary actors who barnstormed before the days of film, the great Negro League baseball players, the great old minstrel-age entertainers whose work has essentially been lost, all of whom survive primarily through third-party testimony, and I think you have something of an apt comparison.

Edited by AllenLowe

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yes and no - Davey was a major pain in the ass in terms of getting him to go out and play - on the other hand he saw his situation as one of family and of wanting to avoid the pitfalls of the jazz life with it's attendant selfishness, sexual adventurousness, and substance abuse (and his wife was failing for years; after his daughter was killed in a car crash, Gloria just took to bed and basically never got out again, and Dave refused to leave her for any period of time).

So it was hard to argue with him - even, apparently, Charlie Parker remarked on it one night when he told Dave that he envied Dave's family life; Dave told him, "well, Bird, you could do it too, but you're always going uptown, downtown, you always have to play..." (this jibes with Al Haig's comment to me that, on some level, Bird would have liked to just be a family man).

not to mention what may have been some racial issues, because Bird also told Bill Triglia "you know, Dave's gonna have problems because he's a white guy who plays like that." Triglia was convinced that Bird thought that Dave's elusiveness was related to a certain amount of racial self-consciousness.

and it was amusing to sit one night with Bill Evans, at Evans' 50th birthday party, and hear Evans say "as far as I am concerned there were only two alto players from that era who didn't copy Bird - Lee Konitz and Dave Schildkraut. Schildkraut was one of my favorites but he refused to play. It's hard to understand such self destructive behavior." This, of course, from the guy who was slowly but surely commiting suicide.

so, yes, my comments are related to pure talent and ability, not necessarily what he, in the end, left behind -

and yet, on the other hand - with jazz you might say that most of what Schildkraut accomplished, played in person, has vanished - because look at the direct testimony of Dizzy, Mel Lewis, McLean, Getz, Ralph Burns, even Coltrane, who dedicated a song to Schildkraut at one his later Jazz Gallery gigs (Dave told me Coltrane had admired him because he - Schildkraut - was one of the first saxohonists that Coltrane heard use the altissimo range as more than just effect) - also of Buddy Rich, which I mentioned before, that Dave was the greatest clarinetist he ever heard, after Artie Shaw. (When I asked Mel Lewis about Dave, his jaw dropped and he told me I had no idea about how great a player Dave was; and Mel was no easy mark; Jackie Mclean said to me, "Is Dave still alive?", asked me for his phone number, and called him up to invite him to Hartford). So what we're testifying to is based almost solely on recordings. And though Dave was shy about that, he was, for some time, out there enough for his legend to develop by other means.

think of the old legendary actors who barnstormed before the days of film, the great Negro League baseball players, the great old minstrel-age entertainers whose work has essentially been lost, all of whom survive primarily through third-party testimony, and I think you have something of an apt comparison.

But if you live a life as an artist so that it's a "for [your] legend to develop by other means" affair, and it's not all about what happened to your daughter and your wife, maybe that's the path you chose to take. Or perhaps you find your eventual reputation as an "insiders" favorite to be more satisfying and comfortable than being out there that much.

None of the barriers of era, pastness, racism, lack of technological means of reproduction, etc. that apply in the cases of the "old legendary actors who barnstormed before the days of film, the great Negro League baseball players, the great old minstrel-age entertainers whose work has essentially been lost" seem to me to apply to Schildkraut, other than that what he does survive to some degree on third-party testimony. As for him being a victim of external and/or internalized Crow Jim attitudes -- Konitz? Art Pepper?

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yes, and actually I think it was in many ways a self-inflicted limitation -

on the other hand, I would argue that Pepper and Konitz, stylistically, were very "white," and carved themselves out a particular and outsider niche in that way, whereas Dave worked in an area closer to the African American mainstream (and was, I would argue, more admired by the bebop mainstream, many of whom regarded Konitz as "cold"). He wasn't the only one, obviously, there was Quill and Woods, but Dave was the best (and hence Dizzy's comment that "he was the only alto player to capture the rhythmic essence of Bird." Quite a compliment, I would say). And who knows what racial overtones surrounded his appearances? In my experience the reflections of race are not easily witnessed by people like myself and other white observers denied certain kinds of access. And Triglia described Bird's comments as somewhat mysterious and cryptic, so I think there was something there beyond the more obvious and documented attitudes.

and I disagree, because I do think Dave's musical career is equivalent to the undocumented actors and performers and athletes - even if the barrier - psychological, social, personal - was much different.

because obviously Dave was around, many people (including, I should add, as another witness, Sonny Rollins) admired his playing and reported on it - so if we define jazz history as not strictly reflected in recordings, we know he was there, he was considered not only a peer but a "great" by people we cannot ignore - and he made his presence felt, from Minton's (which he rushed to as soon as he got out of the Navy) on.

So I don't think we should we say that he did not fulfill his own artistic destiny, only that he fulfilled it in a way different than many of his contemporaries. *****

****this is a nice way of saying he was a nut.

Edited by AllenLowe

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(sorry to drop so many names, but I spent years tracking these people down when I was trying to write an article on Dave)

Allen, did you ever finish the article? I would love to read it. You seem to be the main source of Schildkraut info on the net. I'm about to listen to Last Date.

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I never actually wrote it, but somewhere I have nice transcription of an interview with Dave that I should publish (I also have an interesting one with Triglia). Yes, I seem to be the Dave Schildkraut Memorial Society. I think of him as like certain obscure writers who only turned out a few stories or a lone novel.

by the way, I've added an asterisk to my last post.

Edited by AllenLowe

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think of the old legendary actors who barnstormed before the days of film, the great Negro League baseball players, the great old minstrel-age entertainers whose work has essentially been lost, all of whom survive primarily through third-party testimony, and I think you have something of an apt comparison.

None of the barriers of era, pastness, racism, lack of technological means of reproduction, etc. that apply in the cases of the "old legendary actors who barnstormed before the days of film, the great Negro League baseball players, the great old minstrel-age entertainers whose work has essentially been lost" seem to me to apply to Schildkraut, other than that what he does survive to some degree on third-party testimony. As for him being a victim of external and/or internalized Crow Jim attitudes -- Konitz? Art Pepper?

No need to go back to the minstrel era etc.

Just take any number of JAZZ "musicians' musicians" from the 20s or generally those 20s jazz musicians who (according to testimonials by those who heard them play) were never adequately captured on record (because the recordings were influenced to a MUCH higher degree by conservative record company/A&R men tastes) and who really came into their own live on stage (none of which was preserved for posterity). There must have been MANY like that ...

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Listening now to his Artistry in Bossa Nova album. As bossa goes, the LP is a giant FAIL with a capitol (no pun intended) F.

Kenton's formula was that anything "modern" had to be bigger, louder, and more dissonant. As a result, he completely misses the beauty, subtlety and sadness of bossa.

But as post-war, futurist hi-fi jazz for modern living, it is pretty good. I might like it even more if I ever get around to getting a new belt for my turntable.

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Listening now to his Artistry in Bossa Nova album. As bossa goes, the LP is a giant FAIL with a capitol (no pun intended) F.

Kenton's formula was that anything "modern" had to be bigger, louder, and more dissonant. As a result, he completely misses the beauty, subtlety and sadness of bossa.

But as post-war, futurist hi-fi jazz for modern living, it is pretty good. I might like it even more if I ever get around to getting a new belt for my turntable.

It's also pretty good, maybe even a little better, as a Kenton Trombone Section album.

Another part of the Kenton formula, at least during the Capitol yeas, was that any time he did something "faddish" llike this, he'd do it to a few or more of his old warhorses. This one is no exception.

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It's also pretty good, maybe even a little better, as a Kenton Trombone Section album.

Another part of the Kenton formula, at least during the Capitol yeas, was that any time he did something "faddish" llike this, he'd do it to a few or more of his old warhorses. This one is no exception.

Imagine "Artistry in Synth Pop"

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Adventures In Time comes pretty damn close, actually!

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kenton to montenegro 1965--

montenegro to morricone 1968--

Edited by MomsMobley

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kenton to montenegro 1965--

montenegro to morricone 1968--

The Capitol Neophonic album is one I've always mostly like a fair good lot, so when I found out about two other CDs worth of material, recorded live, I thought, huh, let's see! It was disappointing, pretty much a bunch of film/TV score writers playing with devices/ Imagining the environment at the time, it seems sorta "political" to me, self-congratulatory and all that, but I'll not blame Kenton, really, although maybe should(?)...anyway, that Capitol album (in LP form) still sits well, except for the Jim Knight piece, which is slite, trite, and not alrite.

Russ Garcia fans, though, should make note of his piece on here which is actually pretty nice, devices and all. And John Williams' (yeah, that one"" Prelude and Fugue" is actually fun, and with a little substance to boot!

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So I wanted to through in my two cents..on Dick Shearer but the Shearer Post are Closed. I joined the Kenton band in Texas as a bandboy in April 1970. After a few months Dick suggested I become the bands Road Manager..to Stan. That meeting to0 place at the Anaheim Hyatt House during the Disney gig. Took place in the bar. I got a drink no problem. Mike Vax was leaving the band. That meeting took place with Stan and Dick in the bar. said said to me "you can't screw this up...your charge of a lot shit ...payroll..itenaries..contracts..at 19 can you do all that?" No problem Stan I can take care of it." I said. It was a done deal. From that point on my life changed BIG Time. I went from getting a sub sandwitch..to eating in class joints with Dick and Stan. Dick helped me at first with a system that was established..that worked well if you worked at. Don't forget it was the days with no cell phones.So Dick and I became close friends through the years. I remember I was in Florida when he died..after getting the call..It clouded up on a hot summer day..rain all day and all night. I really miss him. Jack Sandmeier@beersetyouup@hotmail.com

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Dick Shearer thread remains open!

Please, share as much as you like. Road life and the people who lived it are such a critical component of what made that type of jazz what it was, yet the realities are often shied away from in favor of just looking at the recordings.

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In the early 70's Rolling Stone Magazine had a article "Most Traveled Acts In The Nation" Number 1 on the list The Harlem Globe Trotters@52 weeks a year. Number 2 was The Stan Kenton Orchestra @ 50 weeks a year. I use to have that in a frame..but don't know what I did with it...Buy the way,,where are my car keys?

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we might ask his daughter what she thinks of his creative world.....

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But as post-war, futurist hi-fi jazz for modern living, it is pretty good. I might like it even more if I ever get around to getting a new belt for my turntable.

I think that's the trick with Kenton: get into that space age bachelor pad listening mode, preferably with an large cocktail in hand and your there!

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But as post-war, futurist hi-fi jazz for modern living, it is pretty good. I might like it even more if I ever get around to getting a new belt for my turntable.

I think that's the trick with Kenton: get into that space age bachelor pad listening mode, preferably with an large cocktail in hand and your there!

I keep him filed in the space-age bachelor pad section. He seems right there. It seems weird to put him in the jazz section. I also have less empty shelf space in the jazz section, so that plays a role!

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I remember one of the first CD reissues of Kenton's coming out back in the early 90s (may have been even the late 80s) and reading a review which was focused on the glassy highs and shrill shrieks of the horn section which put me off. Indeed, I'm not sure it would have worked on some of those first generation CD's.

Much later, it was the fact that his band had been a finishing school for a lot of the west coast cool musicians that intrigued me and when I finally took the plunge with the first Mosaic set, I was not disappointed. Even the latin tinged stuff works for me, like Sun Ra he was a space-age futurist, only that his music future was an evolutionary dead-end.

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... like Sun Ra he was a space-age futurist, only that his music future was an evolutionary dead-end.

Not so sure about that ...

IMHO his brass-oriented big band sound and all the highs and even some "shrieks" that started from the 40s onwards set the overall mood for the overall sound patterns of many if not most big bands for decades to come, particularly in Europe, and even at a time when Kenton no longer was in the jazz headlines. The warm reed sound of most of the typical 30s and early 40s big bands as THE dominating big band sound never was to return (not that brass-heavy big bands sounds are a bad thing - they just ARE different). And no doubt this can NOT only be due to the fact that in the time that has passed since, there never seemed to a shortage of brass section players suitable for big bands anywhere whereas reed section players (particularly those who could "carry" a big band) semed to be few and far between.

Besides, space age bachelor pad music to listen to when sipping your martini does up conjure a specific era and atmosphere, so what's wrong with music inevitably referring to that atmosphere and having no updated, directly linked modern equivalent? ;) You don't do space-age bachelor pad movie score musci anymore today like you did in the late 50s and 60s either so that might be considered a dead end too?

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Besides, space age bachelor pad music to listen to when sipping your martini does up conjure a specific era and atmosphere, so what's wrong with music inevitably referring to that atmosphere and having no updated, directly linked modern equivalent? ;) You don't do space-age bachelor pad movie score musci anymore today like you did in the late 50s and 60s either so that might be considered a dead end too?

Actually, there are occasionally "space-age bachelor pad"-themed film scores these days, but they are few and far between.

I think the distinction that Mr. Salt was making - and correct me if I'm wrong - was that Sun Ra's concept of futurist music kept evolving, while Kenton stubbornly maintained one vision of the future. The latter is inherently paradoxical: At some point that future becomes the past.

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I agree about the latter distinction but (to me anyway) it appears to be of minor importance. After all Kenton did evolve; quite a bit of the "pompous" aura that reigned for a time in the 50s (and certainly was different again from early post-war 40s Kenton) was abandoned in the 60s and even many of those who used to dismiss him sternly in the 50s acknowledged that he did swing then after all. Apart from that, of course Kenton was and remained Kenton, and I canot see anything wrong with that, unless people tend to embrace change for change's sake, and in the end the evolutions of some other artists may just as much have been a lasting uncertainty about in which direction to go.

IMO Kenton certainly did evolve by his own terms and he firmly believed in what he did. Which should be fair enough as a basis at least tolerate him, even for those who are confirmed non-Kentonians (considering how many others whose jazz is rather far out in their own way too are still lauded for sticking to doing what they believe in and nothing else). There should be room and space for lots of different streams of jazz within the huge river of jazz, and one man's pompousness (not my kind of favorite Kenton either, BTW, but often I think I see his point) is another man's screeching. ;)

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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Indeed, I do feel that Kenton's innovations are less engaging than Sun Ra's and strangely, a lot of Kenton's futurism sounds extremely dated and very much of the period now. Of course that is inevitably, same with a lot of Sun Ra's stuff from the 70s.

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