Welcome to another month of Donkey Show, which already has surpassed 2016 in terms of viewership. When I was picking out records, I put an emphasis on ones that I have previously listened to, thus lessening my listening burden for the month. At first I was really jazzed about this month. After choosing the songs, I am slightly less so. I could have diversified it a bit more. Two brass band albums in one month is crazy. Anyway, here is an interesting month of albums starting with this one I got for $3 which I bought for no better reason that the two tone cover.
Stan Kenton, born in Wichita, Kansas in 1911, was a pianist and band leader of in the same class as Herman, Basie and Ellington. He had several big band hits in the 1940’s. However, to keep with trends of the time as well as to stay economically viable, Kenton paired down his band to an ensemble of 19. This band’s swinging sound was cemented with the addition of drummer Mel Lewis in 1954. This new incarnation had success up until the 60’s where Rock and Roll all but decimated this style of music. Kenton, did remain active and still had a good deal of success in this period although he was somewhat curtailed by two accidental falls towards the end of his life. Kenton died from complications from a stroke in 1979 at age 67.’
Released and recorded in 1956, this album takes some of Stan Kenton’s more popular big band songs from the 1940’s and translates with this smaller jazz ensemble. Along with the help, from arranger Peter Rugolo, Kenton’s band tears thru these 13 tracks with a swinging horn section. There are no strings on this record listed, nor can I remember them. Overall, it is a pretty good little record. I think I picked about six songs of it as candidates for samples. According to some reviews, this was one of Kenton’s more popular albums as well as a good seller.
For a sample, I was really drawn “The Concerto To End All Concertos”, being a fan of hyperbole and all . However, upon listening, I did not feel that all concertos were on the verge of ending, as the title would suggest. But for sake of this article here it is, along with a favorite of mine, “The Peanut Vendor”.
Good little album. Satisfactory.