Si Zentner Biography

Simon H. Zentner, 13 June 1917, New York City, New York, USA, d. 31 January 2000, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. After learning to play the trombone as a child, Zentner played in and around New York before joining Les Brown in 1940. During the 40s he played in a number of bands, including those led by Harry James and Jimmy Dorsey, and at the end of the decade entered a long period of studio work. From 1957 onwards, he periodically formed a big band for studio sessions and gained a substantial following among the record-buying public, including a Top 50 pop hit in 1961 with his reading of ‘Up A Lazy River’. For these bands he employed studio musicians, many with strong leanings to jazz; among them were Don Fagerquist, Don Lodice, Joe and Ray Triscari, Alvin Stoller, Lanny Morgan, Frank Capp and Gene Goe.

Perhaps the most important among the regular members of the bands Zentner formed was pianist Bob Florence, whose arrangements were influential in establishing Zentner’s reputation among big band fans. Zentner continued his series of recordings until 1968, and thereafter continued to form big bands to accompany leading singers and also for appearances at important venues in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Leading by example, Zentner consistently showed that there was a substantial and enthusiastic audience for big band music, and that such music need not be repetitious or confined to recreations of old favourites.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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