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Teasing the Korean

THE CREATIVE WORLD OF STAN KENTON

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Teasing the Korean is a card-carrying member of THE CREATIVE WORLD OF STAN KENTON. Stan feels confident that his new organization, bolstered by TTK's participation, will do much toward furthering the success and growth of modern American music.

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I find him very interesting but I wouldn't say I'm a fan. I have 23 cds and a few lps remain. I think he hired a lot of talented people and appreciate them.

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I find him very interesting but I wouldn't say I'm a fan. I have 23 cds and a few lps remain. I think he hired a lot of talented people and appreciate them.

23 CD's and you're not a fan? :unsure:

I like a lot of Stan Kenton's 1940's and 50's stuff. It got less interesting later, IMO. His band was a great training ground for a whole generation of musicians, and contrary to the general consensus, I think a lot of his music has great value.

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I am a fan, and so is Anthony Braxton.

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I find him very interesting but I wouldn't say I'm a fan. I have 23 cds and a few lps remain. I think he hired a lot of talented people and appreciate them.

This makes me reconsider whether I'm a fan of anyone. :blink:

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Maybe my inner c. 1948 white guy is coming out (a la the thread I started about Shearing), but I recently picked up an LP copy of "The Ballad Style of Stan Kenton" (from 1958, all Kenton charts), and while I'm familiar with the jazzier Kenton, the Latin Kenton, the "progressive" Kenton, the pretentious Kenton, and the standards arranged by Russo et al., this stuff was new and kind of intriguing in ways I find hard to quantify.

First, while the widely-spaced, "choral" writing for the sax section was very much a "sound" thing, it was rather subtle and different sound -- supposedly, so say the liner notes, with its roots in Kenton's "Opus in Pastels," but I know that piece, and these voicings sound much less juicy than "Opus and Pastels," both in the way they're scored and the way they're played (the sax section on this album does include Lennie Niehaus, Bill Perkins, and Richie Kamuca) reminiscent perhaps of Ralph Burns' "Early Autumn" (a version of which appears on this album) or even, come to think of it, Glenn Miller but with a flavor of their own.

Second, in a way that's again hard to quantify but almost hallucinatory in effect, the sections of the band seem to phrase in a somewhat more languid manner than the already stately tempo of each piece itself. It's as though there are two different but congruent/co-ordinated time feels at work, outer and inner, and the inner one is a bit slower, though they both flow. Finally, there's the climactic tight "choral" writing for the trumpet section, which makes room for a fair amount of internal dissonance and upper-register playing (as well as discreet solos by, I think, Don Fagerquist), though it's all so tight and choral and languid/flowing that the emotional effect is rather paradoxical -- at once climactic, a la a shout chorus, and almost fiercely constrained, like you're overhearing a woman scream from inside a locked hotel room. Was that a real scream? And what do you do? Is this music as calm and complacent as the "The Ballad Style" title would suggest? Maybe that was the idea, but to me it sounds kind of tormented and, in that respect and others, not at all un-hip.

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Well, I don't have as many CDs as Chuck, but do I win the Kenton 78 count with 18 discs?

I also have a handful of CDs and a handful of LPs. I'll say thumbs up, and it took me years to come around to this position. I pretty much dismissed Kenton for a long time, but over the years I heard more and more music from him that struck me not just as interesting, but really amazing. After I heard "Themopylae" I was willing to forgive a lot of lesser moments.

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I have the Mosaic set and love it! You can count me as a fan.

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I was not.

I am now.

Love the Kenton music from the '50s...

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When i am, it's in spite of him, not because of him.

Case in point...

41wjCfBO5ZL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

A freakin' beautiful work. Thank you Bill Mathieu.

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Maybe my inner c. 1948 white guy is coming out (a la the thread I started about Shearing), but I recently picked up an LP copy of "The Ballad Style of Stan Kenton" (from 1958, all Kenton charts)

That one really bugs me....Kenton's charts on this one are all the same in format, color, voicing, you name it. I really don't think the guy ways any great shakes at anything himself, although he was interested in those who he thought were or could be. Which to me makes him a "figure" a lot more than it does a "musician". If intent and sponsorship is all that is needed to be a "great" or whatever, then Bill Cosby is a jazz great too.

But you're right about the tempo thing, the band did have a way of going waaaaaaay slow on ballads. The classic example is "Here's That Rainy Day", which I heard played live a lot slower than the Redlands version, which was already pretty slow.

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I'm a part time member. Have the Mosaics and a 'Creative World' edition of the 'Kenton/Wagner' LP. That one is worth signing up for !

Edited by sidewinder

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strange coincidence? I was on a plane going to the EMP conference in April and who do I sit next to but the nephew of Ray Wetzel - Wetzel wrote Intermission Riff.

so how can I NOT like Kenton? Even though he was a right wing Republican.

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I'm a part time member. Have the Mosaics and a 'Creative World' edition of the 'Kenton/Wagner' LP. That one is worth signing up for !

I'm a fan...most of the time. Love Artistry in Jazz and both Mosaic sets and especially like Roland's writing on Artistry in Blues. Never much liked the Latin stuff. I also have the Kenton/Wagner LP, but in the original Capitol. I've always been surprised that no one has reissued that one on cd. I guess it's just about the *most* pretentious of his records, and the competition for that award is pretty stiff!

gregmo

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I hear things on compilations that make me think 'Oh, he's not as bombastic as I thought'.

But I remain haunted by a harrowing afternoon a few years back when Geoffrey Smith played 'Prologue (This is an Orchestra)' on Jazz Record Requests. I needed months of special psychiatric treatment after that.

When I was first listening to jazz in the 70s, Kenton had a hardcore fanatical following, almost a genre all to himself. The one jazz specialist shop in Nottingham, Eric Rose's Music Inn, was like a temple to Kenton.

(I think my reaction to Kenton was heavily influenced by a devastating attack on Prog-Rock by Ricard Williams in the Melody Maker (I think!) c.1972 where he compared it to Kenton and pointed out how Kenton had been rendered largely marginal to jazz history; prog-rock had the same fate in store).

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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I usually find Kenton interesting, if not entirely engaging. Certainly, he is a part of jazz history that one needs to come to grips with to appreciate the broader picture. I have to admit that I do draw pretty much of a blank with the Graettinger stuff that so many people are crazy about.

Edited by John L

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Maybe my inner c. 1948 white guy is coming out (a la the thread I started about Shearing), but I recently picked up an LP copy of "The Ballad Style of Stan Kenton" (from 1958, all Kenton charts)

That one really bugs me....Kenton's charts on this one are all the same in format, color, voicing, you name it. I really don't think the guy ways any great shakes at anything himself, although he was interested in those who he thought were or could be. Which to me makes him a "figure" a lot more than it does a "musician". If intent and sponsorship is all that is needed to be a "great" or whatever, then Bill Cosby is a jazz great too.

But you're right about the tempo thing, the band did have a way of going waaaaaaay slow on ballads. The classic example is "Here's That Rainy Day", which I heard played live a lot slower than the Redlands version, which was already pretty slow.

For sure -- "Kenton's charts on this one are all the same in format, color, voicing, you name it." Maybe I'm getting high on Rice Krispies, but that's a big part of what I was talking about, what I hear on this particular album as an expressive obsessiveness (though to others it might sound like "Hey -- as an arranger he can only do this one damn formulaic thing"). Coupled with the other stuff I heard there (or thought I was hearing) and tried to describe, it caught my attention. For one thing, I thought I could tell why the onetime swatch of the public that was moved by the Kenton ballad approach was moved by it, and what that transaction said about all parties. (I do claim BTW that they were moved by it; if they were not, if this sound and these performances were just incidental or less on the musical-social landscape of the time, then what I'm going on about doesn't matter because it didn't exist.) I'll grant you that Kenton's foreground piano maunderings are just that.

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Not I hope to get too creepy about this, but those particular Kenton ballad charts give me a "Vertigo" (the movie came out the same year the album did) or even a David Lynch feeling. It's like you've got this guy who's kind of crazy in that only one sort of romantic female image (or romantic musical "image") turns him on; the power in this being that we're all somewhat that way -- it's part of what romance is, that who she is/how she looks speaks to us. But in this guy's case that strolls well over the border into the potentially perverse; he needs that particular landscape (if you will) and only that landscape to kick his romantic imagination into gear and will if pressed re-arrange reality a good deal in order to assemble his particular erotic/romantic diorama. The creepy part here in part is, What the heck is the relationship between the landscape (i.e. what the woman and her appurtenances -- hair color and style, body type, color and style of clothing, sound of voice, etc.) and the actual woman? Do such scenarios, when pushed far enough, even leave room for an actual woman? And should one inadvertently disrupt or refuse to go along with the fantasy -- watch out. As a very shrewd fellow one wrote, "Lust is the eroticized form of hatred."

By now we're getting close I think to the sort of surreal looniness that Mr. Lynch tried to depict in "Blue Velvet," Twin Peaks," etc. But neither that looniness, nor what happens in "Vertigo" (and, it seems to me, in "The Ballad Style of Stan Kenton") would get under anyone's skin if it didn't link up with something that's already present and significant in some human beings. As it happens, I can't stand "Mad Men," but that show's title is apt.

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I was about to make a similar post.

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yikes how did I miss that? next you'll tell that George Harrison didn't write My Sweet Lord

Edited by AllenLowe

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