Stan Kenton's Progressive Band

Artistry in Rhythm

By: - Apr 08, 2016

Stan Kenton's Artistry in Rhythm

Tall and lanky
Chiseled features
Slicked back hair
Elegantly dressed
Doubled breasted suit
Still handsome in his 60's
Stan Kenton
Nervous and intense
Strained smile
Touch of the shakes
When we met
For Herald Sunday piece
Less a tour than crusade
Mentor and educator
Reaching a new generation
Schools perform his music
That magnificent
Brassy sound
Some found strident and brash
More noise than jazz
To critics he
Fought with
Trashed his far out
City of Glass
Stan was scrappy
Protective of
Progressive music
Artistry in Rhythm
Afro-Cuban riffs
Singularly magnificent
It was 1970
The year he split
Twenty five years
With Capital Records
Sides out of print
Kids music he snapped
Referring to the Fab Four
Where before
He was the star
Bought the catalogue
Reissued on his label
Creative World of Stan Kenton
Old and new material
Live albums
Went to all the gigs
Stan glommed onto me
His personal critic
The home guard
Friends and fans
Charlie Lake
The Whale
Spread the word
Whenever in town
Rallied the faithful
Concerts like clinics
The players thrilled
Believed in the music
Famous arrangements
Pete Rugolo, Johnny Richards
Symphonic in scope
Loved the upper register
Red hot brass
Always new material
Ken Hanna, Neal Hefti, Bill Holman
Macarthur Park a stunner
The band goofing on
Hit with June Christy
Other  singers
Four Freshmen
Anita O'Day, Chris Conner
Tragically Ann Richards
Posed for Playboy
Wife who knew the band
A suicide at 46
Last time I saw him
Staggering to the bus
Knife in my heart
Poignant sight
Another one nighter
Life on the road
Takes its toll