[Dixielandjazz] Kentonia - Stan & Duke

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Apr 9 10:58:53 PDT 2004

Couple of things from the Stan Kenton Chat List, for a Friday when the
DJML quiets down. Interesting insights for band leaders and CD
producers. BTW, Kenton and Ellington were great friends and greatly
admired each other's music.

Steve Barbone

On the subject of his own perfectionist attitude, Kenton said "I learned
one thing from Duke Ellington a number of years ago, and I should have
gotten over this thing at that time. He said "Sometimes you go for
perfection so much that there's no depth or content to it. You should
learn to live with wrong notes or
mistakes once in a while. That's part of the human error that makes the
thing what it is." I'm just getting around to where I don't have the
fear that I used to."

We (The Kenton Band) ended with something Ken Hanna wrote, called The
Macumba Suite. We're backstage afterwards and Duke was very
complimentary and said: "Man, you guys just messed me up. I wanted to do
this new suite of mine. Now I've changed my mind. You all played
marvellously. I don't want to follow that." I said "What do you mean,
marvellous? What we played was based on South American voodoo." But Duke
insisted on having his programme changed. His band went on after us, and
I'm out in the audience with Quin Davis. They played one arrangement
that was so far out and hip, real avant- garde. We didn't know Duke's
band was into this stuff. They play for a minute or so, and Duke cuts
off the band and goes into Take the "A" Train. Afterwards I went
backstage and I questioned Duke about stopping the tune. He says "What
do you mean, tune? This #$%&^@# band of mine! Half the band got out one
arrangement and the other half got out something in another key! Each
side was too stubborn to change what they wanted to play."

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