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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

Conducts the Berlin Dream Band

Sounds of Yester Year
by The Woods DSOY 855

 

 


1. Artistry in Rhythm
2. Reuben's Blues
3. Stompin' at the Savoy
4. Artemis and Apollo
5. Young Blood
6. Stan Kenton Medley: Interlude/Intermission Riff/Opus in Pastels/Eager Beaver/Collaboration/The Peanut Vendor
7. To Duke (Improvisations on Take the "A " Train)
8. Malaguena

Milo Pavlovich, Carmell Jones, Ronnie Simmonds, Manfred Stoppacher, Harry Samp - Trumpets
Ake Persson, Jiggs Whigham, Henry Masnick, Siegfried Schmidt, Charles Orieux - Trombones
Fritz Dorr - Tuba
Leo Wright - Alto sax
Klaus Marmulla, Rolf Rohmer - Tenor sax
Jan Konopasec - Baritone sax
Stan Kenton - Piano
Hans-Joachim Lange - Bass
Dai Bowen - Drums
Heinz Niemeyer - Bongoes, conga

 

I am not sure why this album has been re-released. The sound of a German audience booing Stan Kenton, who did so much to further big band music, is most unedifying.

The recording quality is typical of what happens when concerts are recorded live; the acoustics that are OK for a concert hall rarely work out for recording sessions. The band plays well enough, although it is mainly the Americans that star: Carmell Jones on trumpet, Jiggs Whigham on trombone, Leo Wright on alto, who are the best of the soloists.

The lead trumpet work is good on what is a demanding library. I don't know for sure, but the playing on that instrument sounds like Ronnie Simmonds, who was a member of the Ted Heath Band and the Johnny Dankworth Orchestra.

Most of the programme is familiar stuff with the exception of Artemis and Young Blood. I preferred the latter over the former, Johnny Richards' arrangements always sound over-complicated to me. Young Blood is a Gerry Mulligan arrangement of his own tune.

I enjoyed hearing the Medley again: when I first heard most of these arrangements, I was still at school! Peanut Vendor has been a show stopper at big band concerts ever since; this version was taken at a faster pace than the original

Stan Kenton talked with dignity throughout, despite the antics of the morons in the audience and as usual played some nice piano, which he always did.

Just why Stan decided to play Take the "A" Train as his trio number I don't know, it was titled To Duke. His tribute in words however was good, but I am surprised that Stan did not pick something from his own list of compositions. The piano playing is fine and typically Kenton.

Malaguena featured Ake Petersson and Klaus Marmulla, but the concert hall acoustics do not help the sound; some parts of the orchestra are under recorded and some over.

Thankfully by the end of the concert it sounds like the idiots had left and the concert finishes to tumultuous applause!

Don Mather



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