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Postlude

Michael Sparke University of North Texas Press PDF

P o st l u d e

Stan Kenton

(1911–1979)

“To my way of thinking, Stan is the giant of jazz in our time. And even more important—he’s a marvellous human being.”

—Hank Levy to author, April 9, 1972.

Over 30 years after his life ended, one thing is beyond question: Stan Kenton is assured of his place in the pantheon of jazz. He is an heroic figure, a musical crusader. He experienced more triumphant achievements and suffered more humiliating failures than most people would encounter in half a dozen lifetimes. Stan Kenton is as strong as his music. To his fans he is immortal.

At the same time, even Stanley’s enormous reserves of enthusiasm and energy were insufficient to enable him to achieve his greatest goal, and fairly early in his career he realized that his quest to establish a new American concert music that filled the void between jazz and the

European classicals was doomed to failure. There was simply insufficient demand for such music as represented by Innovations and the Neophonic, so instead Stan settled for advancing the music of jazz within the finest orchestras he could muster. For Stan Kenton was of necessity a realist. He could compromise his art to a far greater extent than an idealist like Bob Graettinger, or his contemporaries Bill Russo and Johnny

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7 David Baker and the Smithsonian: A Personal Perspective

Monika Herzig Indiana University Press ePub

7   David Baker and the Smithsonian: A Personal Perspective

I first met David Baker in fall 1973, when I arrived at Indiana University to pursue a doctorate in ethnomusicology.1 Even though I would earn my degree in the Graduate School rather than in the Music School, where he taught, David was a huge factor in my decision to attend IU. Unknown to me at that time was how significant he would turn out to be in my life and career, and how important he would become to the Smithsonian Institution.

Over the course of my studies leading to ma and phd degrees, I took just about all the courses I could from David, including F321: Jazz Improvisation; M393: History of Jazz; M395: Contemporary Jazz and Soul Music; M593: Advanced History of Jazz; M582: The Bebop Era; M584: Research in the History and Analysis of Jazz: Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Although I had taken a course or two in jazz at my undergraduate alma mater, Carleton College, studying with David was eye-, ear-, and mind-opening. He was highly organized and systematic in his approach: a thorough syllabus announced the week-by-week progression and he adhered to it religiously. His exams combined drop-the-needle identification of recordings with traditional true/false and multiple-choice questions, and were themselves models of organization. (I still have my copious handwritten notes on his lectures, all his syllabi, and all the tests I took from him.)

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The Repertory of Textless Dances

Timothy J. McGee Indiana University Press ePub

We can begin our discussion of the dances by attempting to match the surviving repertory with the names and descriptions that have come down to us.

Estampie is the only dance for which we have both description and named repertory from the Middle Ages. Sixteen textless compositions from two different sources are identified as estampies: eight from the thirteenth-century French source Paris BN fonds français 844, labelled “estampies” (Nos.3–10 in this edition), and eight from the late fourteenth-century Italian manuscript London, BL Additional 29987, following the heading “Istanpitta” (Nos.14–21). The description of the form by Grocheio is ambiguous and has been the subject of a number of interpretations.21 He makes two statements relevant to the estampie:22

The parts of a ductia and stantipes are commonly called puncta. A punctum is a systematic joining together of concords making harmony in ascending and descending, having two sections alike in their beginning, differing in their end, which are usually called the close and open.23

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1 Growing Up in Missouri

Harvey Phillips Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER ONE

Growing Up in Missouri

NEWS SPREAD QUICKLY in our small town of Marionville, Missouri. In mid-June 1947, when the preacher of my church heard that I would be “running away with the circus,” he drove to our house and asked to speak with my mother and me. As always, Mom greeted the preacher cordially and invited him into our parlor, a room kept prim and proper for the visits of preachers and insurance salesmen, every doily in place and everything clean and orderly. Reverend Gilbert was assigned the most comfortable chair while Mom sat on the front edge of another chair holding a handkerchief in her lap. I sat on the piano bench, in front of our old upright piano.

After friendly exchanges about the weather, vegetable gardens, and everyone’s health, Reverend Gilbert took a big breath and extolled lavishly about what a fine young man I was, what a great job I was doing as junior superintendent of the church and as president of the Methodist Youth Fellowship. I enjoyed that part of his visit. But suddenly his manner changed; his voice became dark and ominous and he stated, “From what I hear, this young man is going into a life of sin!” He then continued to express, through combined lecture and sermon, his opinions and what he had heard about the decadent morals of show business people, circus people especially, and how, as an innocent seventeen-year-old youth, I could easily be corrupted by association and temptations.

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6 Carol

Harvey Phillips Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER SIX

Carol

THROUGH MUCH of the summer of 1952, I performed as a replacement for Mr. Bell with the Asbury Park Municipal Band, conducted by Frank Bryan. The proud traditions established in the 1930s by conductors and legendary co-founders Arthur Pryor (trombone) and Simone Mantia (euphonium) were carried on. My teacher, William J. Bell, was a close friend of both Pryor and Mantia and loved playing with the band. Bill Bryan (the conductor’s brother and band manager) had no trouble recruiting top freelance musicians from New York City.

The concerts were always challenging. Rehearsals were not in the budget, so good sight-readers were always in demand. Like most band programming, each concert started with a spirited march to get the adrenaline flowing. Also featured were major orchestral works transcribed especially for band. Other featured numbers could be Broadway medleys (Victor Herbert, George M. Cohan, Richard Rodgers, etc.) and descriptive medleys (Battle of Little Big Horn, circus music, waltzes, galops, trombone smears, characteristic pieces, etc.). Circus music had an excitement and flavor all its own. And there was always a soloist, usually a cornet player like Armando Ghitalla, but sometimes there would be a trombone, euphonium, or occasionally tuba, when William Bell was so inclined! Whatever the musical menu, programs of one-and-a-half hours were always well received by loyal and enthusiastic audiences.

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