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Posts Tagged ‘Stan Kenton’

Died On This Date (October 16, 2011) Pete Rugolo / Jazz Composer & Arranger

Posted by themusicsover on October 16, 2011

Pietro Rugolo
December 25, 1915 – October 16, 2011

Pete Rugolo was an Italian born American jazz composer and arranger who, over a career that spanned over five decades worked on albums by the likes of June Christy, Nat King Cole, Harry Belafonte, Mel Torme, and Stan Kenton.  Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, Rugolo focused primarily on television, helping create music for such TV programs as Leave It To Beaver, The Fugitive, Run For Your Life, and many others.  He also arranged and composed music for several films up until his retirement in the late ’90s.  Pete Rugolo was 95 when he passed away on October 16, 2011.

Thanks to Paul Bearer for the assist.



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Died On This Date (March 12, 2011) Joe Morello / Jazz Drummer For Dave Brubeck

Posted by themusicsover on March 12, 2011

Joe Morello
July 17, 1928 – March 12, 2011

Joe Morello was a world renowned jazz drummer who is perhaps best remembered for his 12-year run with the Dave Brubeck Quartet.  Born in Springfield, Massachusetts,  Morello had a birth defect that partially impaired his vision, so he tended to spend much of his free time participating in indoor activities .  He took up the violin first and soon found himself as a featured soloist in the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  At the age of 15, he switched over to the drums and eventually moved to New York City to further his career.  It was there he began playing with the likes of Stan Kenton, Art Pepper, and Brubeck to name a few.  He actually declined offers to play with Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey.  Over a career that spanned over 50 years, Morello played on at least 120 albums, 60 of those being Brubeck’s.  He also wrote several instruction books and became a highly regarded instructor – Max Weinberg of Bruce Springsteen and Conan O’Brien fame was one of his many successful students.  Joe Morello was 82 when he passed away in his home.

You can learn more about Joe Morello by watching THIS INTERVIEW for the National Association of Music Merchants.

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Time Out (50th Anniversary Legacy Edition) - The Dave Brubeck Quartet

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Died On This Date (August 29, 2009) Chris Connor / Jazz Singer

Posted by themusicsover on August 29, 2010

Chris Connor (Born Mary Loutsenhizer)
November 8, 1927 – August 29, 2009

ChrisConnorChris Connor was a jazz vocalist who moved to New York City in 1948 to broaden her career beyond the night clubs of Kansas City where she was raised.  Her first significant job came when she was hired by Claude Thornhill to sing in his vocal group, the Snowflakes.  She toured and recorded with Thornhill until 1952, and about a year later found herself singing in Stan Kenton’s band.  With Kenton, she finally hit the Billboard charts, singing on such songs as “And The Bull Walked Around, Ole,” “All About Ronnie” and “Jeepers Creepers.”  Connor left Kenton in 1953 for a solo career, signing to Atlantic Records in 1956.  At Atlantic, she worked with the likes of Herbie Mann, Zoot Sims and Doc Severinson.     Connor continued to record until her 2003 album, Everything I Love.  She died of cancer in a New Jersey hospital at the age of 81.

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Chris Connor

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Died On This Date (August 25, 1979) Stan Kenton / Jazz Icon

Posted by themusicsover on August 25, 2010

Stan Kenton
December 15, 1911 – August 25, 1979

kentonStan Kenton was a popular jazz pianist and band leader who made his mark as part of the West Coast jazz scene of the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s.  He was considered an innovator in his day – taking what others called a “dance band,” and filling it out to what he preferred to call an “orchestra.”  In doing so, he created what was then labeled a “wall of sound,” a term hijacked by Phil Spector in later years.    His influence can be heard today across America’s high school and college jazz bands.  Stan Kenton died on August 25, 1979 following a stroke.  He was 67.

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New Concepts Of Artistry In Rhythm - Stan Kenton

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Died On This Date (August 23, 2006) Maynard Ferguson / Popular Jazz Musician

Posted by themusicsover on August 23, 2010

Maynard Ferguson
May 4, 1928 – August 23, 2006

Maynard Ferguson was a highly regarded Canadian jazz trumpeter and bandleader.  He has been noted for his ability to play in an extremely high register and for being one of the few jazz musicians who could easily adapt to the constantly changing musical landscape.  He began his career as a child prodigy in 1939 – he dropped out of school at 15 to put his focus on his music.  By the time he was twenty, Ferguson was living in the U.S. where he landed his first jobs with Jimmy Dorsey and Charlie Barnet, and about a year later he was hired to play in Stan Kenton’s orchestra.   During the ’60s, he moved to Europe, but returned to the U.S. in the ’70s and landed a pop hit with his rendition of “Gonna Fly” from the Rocky film.  He continued recording and touring up until the final years of his life.  On August 23, 2006, Maynard Ferguson died of kidney and liver failure which were the result of an abdominal infection.  He was 78.

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Maynard Ferguson

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