(Stan Kenton - his new directions in jazz puzzled a lot of people) Something almost completely different tonight. A live broadcast from The Steel P
December 18, 2009

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(Stan Kenton - his new directions in jazz puzzled a lot of people)

Something almost completely different tonight. A live broadcast from The Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey on September 14, 1953. Stan Kenton and His Orchestra. Kenton was one of the pioneers of "New Jazz", taking the traditional big band concept and elaborating on it in a way that converted a dancing audience into a listening one. To some people it was considered strange and inaccessible (though no stranger than the experiments of Sun Ra, for example). But Kenton won a large number of followers during his two+ decades of popularity and he was responsible for helping launch the careers of several musicians, including singers Anita O'Day and June Christy.

Pretty tame by today's standards with many listeners wondering what all the fuss was about. And mostly shoved into the background by the contributions of other innovative musicians of the Jazz idiom from the period. Still, he made some interesting music during a period of time when music was heading into many different directions all at once.

And this broadcast of a live gig was a typical example.

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