Jazz: Big-Band Renaissance

Even at their happy best, big jazz bands evoke a sorrowful mood. They can't help it. They are spectacles of the past, like circuses or dirigibles, and no matter how good they are, their fans usually go home reminiscing about how great they used to be. The big bands began to slip with the death of swing in the early '40s; they grew even more obscure during rock 'n' roll's heyday.

Many collapsed—Stan Kenton jumped ship again last year—but those that have survived now seem to be gaining some of their old popularity....

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