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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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STAN KENTON

AFRS Jubilee Recordings

Sounds of Yester Year DSOY 848

 

 


Jubilee 111 - 5 Dec. 1944
1. Introduction by Ernie "Bubbles" Whitman and Stan Kenton
2. I Know That You Know
3. Dialogue by Ernie "Bubbles" Whitman and Joe Greene
4. And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine
5. Conversin' With The Brain
Jubilee 156 - 13 Nov. 1945
6. Introduction by Ernie "Bubbles" Whitman and Stan Kenton
7. Southern Scandal
8. Tampico
9. Down The Road A-Piece
10. Just A-Sittin' And A-Rockin'
11. Artistry Jumps
Jubilee 231/234 - 17 Feb. 1947
12. Introduction by Gene Norman and Stan Kenton
13. Safranski
14. Lover
15. September Song
16. I Love Coffee, I Love Tea
17. Just A-Sittin' And A-Rockin'
18. Artistry In Percussion
19. Rika Jika Jack
20. Come Back To Sorrento
21. Artistry Jumps
22. Artistry In Rhythm

 

"Jubilee" was a series of broadcasts recorded by America's Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) to entertain forces during and after World War II. These tracks by Stan Kenton's orchestra come from broadcasts made between 1944 and 1947 by the ensemble he formed in 1941, which became known as the Artistry in Rhythm Band.

The 1944 broadcast was by a group noted for its punchy, staccato approach and it included such well-known names as Boots Mussulli and Stan Getz. Getz solos on a hectically fast I Know That You Know - a sadly short solo but this track lasts less than two minutes. Stan also solos on Conversin' With The Brain, after Anita O'Day has sung one of her hits: And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine. Too much time is occupied by presenter Ernie "Bubbles" Whitman, babbling almost incomprehensibly.

By the time of the 1945 broadcast, Stan Getz had left Kenton to join the Benny Goodman Orchestra, but Kenton had taken on two other considerable tenorists: Vido Musso and Bob Cooper. Perhaps the most valuable instrumentalist added to the band was bassist Ed Safranski, who drove the band along unstoppably, as you can hear in Artistry Jumps. The other notable newcomer was singer June Christy, the epitome of cool in Tampico and Just A-Sittin' And A-Rockin'. Her two performances are divided by some supposedly humorous interplay between Kenton and Harry "The Hipster" Gibson in Down The Road A-Piece. Future reissues of these AFRS broadcasts would do well to cut out the comedy, which has dated badly and just gets in the way of the music which most customers want.

New recruits to the 1947 band included drummer Shelly Manne and trombonists Kai Winding and Milt Bernhart. Arranger Pete Rugulo was now a strong element in the orchestra, supplying features for Ed Safranski in Safranski (playing arco as well as pizzicato), Artistry in Percussion for Shelly Manne, and Come Back To Sorrento for Vido Musso (performed with feeling suited to his Sicilian birthplace). June Christy sings three songs in this segment, including a delicate interpretation of September Song, her popular Rika Jika Jack, and another version of Just A-Sittin' And A-Rockin'.

At this time the band was at its best, and it is good to hear them storming through Pete Rugulo arrangements of Lover and Artistry in Rhythm. Kenton fans will have to get this CD but they may find themselves skipping over the "amusing" parts.

Tony Augarde

www.augardebooks.co.uk



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