Monday, October 6, 2014
Stan Kenton Presents: Capitol 1950
Wichita born Stan Kenton tried a lot of things, some of which stuck in jazz for decades. This LP however represents one of his attempts at innovation that did not catch on. Regardless, it is a fairly interesting listen and a good attempt at something new.
The album saw Kenton putting together an amazing set of players, some tunes even feature names of the band, "Maynard Ferguson," "Shelly Manne," "June Christy," and "Art Pepper" are all track names and players on the LP. Throughout the tracks, Kenton took highly sophisticated jazz structure and merged it with classical movements and ideas.
The release isn't as challenging as some of his later work and experiments, it's fairly pleasant and easy to listen to. It's easy to see why the classical/jazz merger didn't stick with others or even Kenton, it sounds forced and segmented. Still, it's interesting hearing something tip toeing around Stravinsky before it goes full out jazz band.