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Stan Kenton: Artistry in Rhythm: Portrait of a Jazz Legend

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Editorial Reviews

In recognition of the upcoming 100th birthday celebration of
Stan Kenton in 2011, this documentary by award-winning
jazz filmmaker Graham Carter covers all facets of Kenton s
amazing career and includes much of the groundbreaking
music that was performed by the Stan Kenton Orchestra
over the years.
Stan Kenton is acknowledged as one of the pioneers in
developing contemporary big band jazz, with a career as
bandleader starting in the early 1940s and lasting through
the late 1970s. Kenton was responsible for helping bring
many jazz stars to fame, including June Christy, Maynard
Ferguson, and Lee Konitz. Many great arrangers wrote for
the Kenton band including Bill Holman, Bill Russo, Lennie
Niehaus, Gerry Mulligan, and Pete Rugolo. Kenton was one of
the pioneers of integrating Afro-Cuban rhythms with big band
jazz, and was at the forefront of introducing jazz education to
colleges and high schools throughout the world.
Documentary on big band jazz legend Stan Kenton.
Interviews with over 20 people associated with Kenton s
long and successful career.
Hundreds of images from the Kenton archives.
Rare film and television performances by the Stan
Kenton Orchestra.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Stan Kenton
  • Directors: Graham Carter
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: JAZZED MEDIA
  • DVD Release Date: April 12, 2011
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004L49K66
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,319 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Ray Pratt on July 3, 2011
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This is a comprehensive look at Kenton's career. Emphasizes how much he was a seeker and explorer. Especially good interview with Bill Holman (arguably the greatest of the Kenton arrangers). Humorous comments by Don Menza on musicians evading Stan's strictures against drug use (while the man himself would round off the days with a slug of vodka). What comes out is the courage and struggle to keep a great band going for 4 decades. Through it passed some of the greatest names in jazz over those decades. It made my admiration for the man even greater. (Might be supplemented by the excellent Anita O'Day documentary DVD because there was not enough room or enough good archival material on film for the period she sang with the band.) Overall, not to be missed by those whole love jazz history or the great Big Bands. A major achievement. Buy it!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Superbone on June 26, 2011
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This is an excellent documentary on the amazing legacy of Stan Kenton and his affect on the world of jazz, big band or otherwise. Great performances throughout the years are on display as well as many interviews that help one to learn the inner workings of the man.

Kenton was dedicated to the advancement and education of music and this documentary presents that beautifully. His career from start to finish is covered. Any student of music or lover of jazz should absolutely have this in their collection. Highly recommended.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gary A. Rice on May 24, 2011
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Recent interviews, old and new band footage add to this wonderful look at Stan and His Legacy.
If your a Kenton fan, get this disc!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C.A. Arthur on July 30, 2011
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This is a first-rate effort to document the legacy of Stan Kenton and his many bands. The interviews, flim clips, and photographs tell a comprehensive story that is both fascinating and important. The DVD appears at about the same time fans are buying Michael Sparke's excellent biography of Kenton. Every day I receive e-mails from a large group of Kenton enthusiasts fans still discussing the man and his music. Only Duke Ellington has a similar following on the Internet.

There are a few flaws and omissions that insiders will notice, including Audree Coke Kenton's questionable assertion that she and Stan were married in Tijuana. More could have been done with Stan's children. One daughter has a new book on her usually absentee father that is stained with often incredible anger. One wife blew her brains out. A son....well, in short, more could have been said.

The film clips are especially enjoyable. I saw the band in person from 1951 until the end, in 1978, and the thrill remains. A great bandleader deserved a great portait, and we can all be pleased that the film makers have done their art on a very high level.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David V. Levine on November 5, 2012
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My first exposure to Stan Kenton was in concert at the Minneapolis Auditorium in 1954. I was 18 and accompanied by a date six years older, a true Stan fan. All I remember is that his so-called Wall of Sound scared me. I had been into listening to small groups of the period and all the Kenton instruments on stage impressed and didn't. Then, in 1958, working as a broadcaster in Tokyo for Armed Forces Radio, I began to listen again to Kenton. The more I heard the more I became glued. I recently purchased the Artistry in Rhythm DVD. I watched once, then again. It is very well done, especially knowing what they had to work with was likely somewhat limited. The interviews bring fine clarity to the new or passive fan. He truly did produce and elevate Progressive Jazz and "semi-symphonic" jazz. He took belief in his music to every corner and preached. Near the end he had touched most of the bases. My all-time favorite is his Concerto To End All Concertos. To the new listener it may take several listens but it all falls into place. You Tube has a GREAT version of it by the LA Jazz Institute that includes more than several of his former sidemen. The DVD is with me to my end and will be watched and listened to many, many times. My gratitude for getting it done.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Russell E. Barber on October 3, 2011
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A wonderful DVD on his life from beginning to end. It was great seeing the old `soundies` ,and the audio was excellent.Very well done.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mike D. on August 17, 2013
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Always wondered why PBS' "American Masters" never got around to Kenton. Having just watched this DVD, they don't have to. I'm currently reading Michael Sparke's bio, and it's great to be able to see many of the Kenton alumni on camera and to be able to put a face to the names, and get a sense of their personalities - particularly Bill Holman. The film is divided into appropriate chapters that cover the many incarnations of Kenton's band. The blend of music, archival film, and interviews is seamless. Well done.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Francis on February 8, 2013
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Having been a fan of Stan Kenton and his band for 50 years, this DVD was a joy to watch. It was great to hear some of the old greats who played in Stan's band talk of him, and their experiences with the band. And of course, there's the music. And the stories behind the music. Makes for an enjoyable bio-pic. Personally it meant a lot, because I had the opportunity to play with Stan's band in the late 60's.
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