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Teasing the Korean

THE CREATIVE WORLD OF STAN KENTON

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Coming into Kentonworld for the first time - aside from CITY OF GLASS, I had never really listened to him but obtained a few of his albums about a decade ago and finally got around to digging them out - CUBAN FIRE and CONCEPTS OF ARTISTY IN RHYTHM.  Wonderful, enjoyable, at times (unintentionally?) humorous music, as long as you don’t get caught up in preconceptions about what good music should sound like 

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Inspired by Larry Kart's post regarding Kenton's 1948 Hollywood Bowl concert,...

http://www.organissimo.org/forum/index.php?/topic/83249-stan-kenton-at-hollywood-bowl-6121948/

...I am bumping this thread.  

I am intrigued by the (two?) Capitol albums Kenton recorded with string sections in the 1950s. Three of these tracks are bonus tracks on my CD copy of Kenton in HI-Fi.  I especially love "Machito."  Are the whole albums as good as these three tracks?

I should add here that my favorite Kenton includes City of Glass, Cuban Fire, West Side Story, and various early Pete Rugolo arrangements that were later collected on early Capitol LPs such as Encores.   

Also, how is that 1960s album with the gold cover that features a John Williams track?

I should also add here that I am a card-carrying member of THE CREATIVE WORLD OF STAN KENTON. Stan feels confident that his new organization, bolstered by my participation, will do much toward furthering the success and growth of modern American music.

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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10 minutes ago, Teasing the Korean said:

Inspired by Larry Kart's post regarding Kenton's 1948 Hollywood Bowl concert,...

http://www.organissimo.org/forum/index.php?/topic/83249-stan-kenton-at-hollywood-bowl-6121948/

...I am bumping this thread.  

I am intrigued by the (two?) Capitol albums Kenton recorded with string sections in the 1950s. Three of these tracks are bonus tracks on my CD copy of Kenton in HI-Fi.  I especially love "Machito."  Are the whole albums as good as these three tracks?

I should add here that my favorite Kenton includes City of Glass, Cuban Fire, West Side Story, and various early Pete Rugolo arrangements that were later collected on early Capitol LPs such as Encores.   

Also, how is that 1960s album with the gold cover that features a John Williams track?

I should also add here that I am a card-carrying member of THE CREATIVE WORLD OF STAN KENTON. Stan feels confident that his new organization, bolstered by my participation, will do much toward furthering the success and growth of modern American music.

Kenton had a way of attaching his most familiar historical repertoir to whatever commercial fad came along. He did strings, voices, bossa nova, whatever. I found those two strings albums to be schlocky and uninspired. But you can't go wrong with "Machito".

The bossa album, formula as it is, is actually very nice on its own terms. Great, relaxed tempos. Kenton arranged it, so you know it's going to be about the same thing evry time, but when the premise is "easy listening", that's not always a bad thing.

The other one you mention is the Neophonic orchestra. I've always had a soft spot for that one that never really hardened. In LP form, Side1 is all you need, but if you have to settle for CD, oh well.

Here's the John Williams cut:

and here's one by Hugo Montenegro, which is kind of a cult classic, I suppose: Side 1, Cut 1.

Hell, here's the other one from Side 1.

 

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

Kenton had a way of attaching his most familiar historical repertoir to whatever commercial fad came along. He did strings, voices, bossa nova, whatever. I found those two strings albums to be schlocky and uninspired. But you can't go wrong with "Machito".

Thanks for all that, JSngry.  I have that bossa record but haven't spun it in a while. 

I sometimes feel like Stan Kenton, beyond his own accomplishments, is like this mysterious glue in the mid-century space-time continuum, like dark matter, forming a fabric that connects Stravinsky, Duke Ellington, Sun Ra, and Les Baxter - seldom, if ever, reaching the heights of any of those four, but somehow linking them all.   Maybe he is responsible for all four of them in the fourth dimension, but we can't grasp that because we experience time sequentially. 

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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Above all else "Stan Kenton" was an organization. If left strictly to his own musical devices, I doubt he'd have gotten too far out of Balboa. But he had a vision of a product, and he borught a lot of people into it, especially arrangers, who could get on board and ride that train.

That's the conflict I had for decades, that he himself didn't bring that much to the table musically, relatively speaking, not nearly enough to merit consideration as an individual innovator . But eventually, the organization did some really nice things over the years, and the organization doesn't happen without him. So...that's that, I suppose, Artistry In Corporatism. Now I can enjoy the music (when I can enjoy it) without thinking about "Stan Kenton" actually being the person who created it.

here's another good one, from the pen (and soprano) of Gene Roland, whose name on a Kenton record should always inspire at least a little interest.

Still, if this is not enough to get too far out of Balboa, Balboa should have no complaints:

 

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6 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Above all else "Stan Kenton" was an organization.

An organization and philosophy, kind of the like the Muzak Corporation with its Stimulus Progression philosophy.  (The comparison is structural and not stylistic.)

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Yeah, very much like that, only with "progressive" and "modern" and words like that.

Still, this would have worked just fine as is. Lunceford on steroids (and did you know that Howard Rumsey played an electric upright bass in this band? Insertional already, that Stan Kenton guy was!!!!)

 

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On 10.5.2019 at 2:43 AM, JSngry said:

Above all else "Stan Kenton" was an organization. If left strictly to his own musical devices, I doubt he'd have gotten too far out of Balboa. But he had a vision of a product, and he borught a lot of people into it, especially arrangers, who could get on board and ride that train.

May I join as "newbie" to the "I like Kenton family" if there is one. I have the Sparke book and also  the complete Capitol recordings book. I would divide the Kento Era in 3 periods: the early Kenton up to the  late 1940s, the middle Kenton up to the  end of 1960s and the rest.

He was called "The restless searcher" but obviously never found what he was searching. When he started the "Neophonic thing" he lost me.

Have about 110 of his recordings and like most the middle part starting with his 1952 "Kenton Presents"  up to the a bit commercial "The stage door swings".

Inbetween we have the real jewels "New Concepts Of Artistry in Rhythm" , "Cuban Fire" & "Contemporary Concepts". Also "Kenton in Sweden" from 1956 belongs to that period I prefer from his complete work. Other members may haver different preferences. One of the real highlights i listened recently  is the track Art Pepper on "Kenton presents".

Can also recomment the PAUSA  LP  PR 9016:  "Shorty Rogers" - 14 historic arrangements & performances with Stan Kenton / June Christy/ The Giants featuring Art Pepper.

Much of the color and sound of the Kenton Orchestra was heavy influenced by  the arrangers as  Rugulo, Holman,Russo, Stan himself and later Dee Barton.

An interesting series on his own Creative World label is the series "By Request!" which compiles a lot of tracks which never appeared on the LP's.

 

Edited by jazzcorner
more text, typos

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Discussing Kentonia, I'll repeat, then, my post from the "other" revived Kenton thread for better exposure of my query: ;)
The other day I added a handful more to my Kenton collection at the annual clearout sale at a local used records store: a very early US Capitol pressing of City of Glass/This Modern World, the "Kenton's Christmas" album on Creative World plus four of those "One Night Stand" LPs on Joyce. I remember JSngry mentioned the Kenton Wagner album some years ago - last year I bought that one at that clearout sale and on listening I agree with him - it works surprisingly well and is not nearly as pompous as one might have feared.
The low price (that encourages taking chances) aside, the "Kenton Christmas" album of course looked like a fitting buy at that time of the year and I might give it a spin on the 24th. A first listening has me a bit puzzled (but not put off). Any opinions by others on that album?

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9 minutes ago, Big Beat Steve said:

Discussing Kentonia, I'll repeat, then, my post from the "other" revived Kenton thread for better exposure of my query: ;)
The other day I added a handful more to my Kenton collection at the annual clearout sale at a local used records store: a very early US Capitol pressing of City of Glass/This Modern World, the "Kenton's Christmas" album on Creative World plus four of those "One Night Stand" LPs on Joyce. I remember JSngry mentioned the Kenton Wagner album some years ago - last year I bought that one at that clearout sale and on listening I agree with him - it works surprisingly well and is not nearly as pompous as one might have feared.
The low price (that encourages taking chances) aside, the "Kenton Christmas" album of course looked like a fitting buy at that time of the year and I might give it a spin on the 24th. A first listening has me a bit puzzled (but not put off). Any opinions by others on that album?

I've liked the Kenton Christmas album ever since I first bought the LP on "Creative World" and then got the cd. I think he actually manages to make "Twelve Days of Christmas" interesting, and that's no small task! I also share an affection for the Kenton/Wagner album, one of the few that has yet to make it to cd.

 

 

 

gregmo

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15 minutes ago, Big Beat Steve said:

Discussing Kentonia, I'll repeat, then, my post from the "other" revived Kenton thread for better exposure of my query: ;) .....
 the "Kenton Christmas" album of course looked like a fitting buy at that time of the year and I might give it a spin on the 24th. A first listening has me a bit puzzled (but not put off). Any opinions by others on that album?

I have that album on CD and it gets its spin every year to the holidays. A fine sound for me but not as adventurous as "Contemporary Concepts" with the great Bill Holman arrangemets ;-]]

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