Sunday, May 17, 2015

Kansas City Jazz Spectrum Kaycee Jazz 1978

Kansas City Jazz Spectrum Kaycee Jazz 1978 CAT #KC-7801

The players here kind of flooded the scene with a number of Kansas City Jazz releases. The big draw featured here is Pat Metheny's brother, Mike Metheny on flugelhorn. Other than that, it's just another from a batch of LPs that are scattered throughout KC featuring these artists.

Overall, this isn't as cheesy or soaked in lounge as it looks. The players attempt to recreate a KC Jazz scene that had died decades prior and was only a matter of pride and history by 1978. The first track is "Perdido" which was made famous by Duke Ellington, but the Kansas City Jazz Spectrum is doing it as a nod to Charlie Parker. The track does showcase each player as competent and isn't drenched in late 70's lounge sound, it could be mistaken for period by a casual listener.

The remainder of the LP features a more covers, some of which are restaurant friendly, others are a bit cooler such as "Stella By Starlight" which was a popular track performed by Miles Davis. There are originals, a vocal track written and performed by Carol Cox Comer which is clever. Mike Ning (who I believe was a transplant to KC) attempts a bit of Cool Jazz on "Grable's Able (Milt Abel)". And the saxophonist, Bill Perkins, contributed a tune called "Lost Moments," which attempts to get almost Kenton-like in sophistication, but mind you, can't reach that level.

Other points are awarded to the cover collage, which does seem a bit hokey, but has great references to KC. And the label name, Kaycee Jazz, is kind of fun.

5 comments:

  1. Being a Lawrence-KC transplant who loves Jazz, for some reason attached myself to this album. I remember actually seeing Milt Abel play live. Just figured out how to convert my old vinyl to CD and was downloading the album cover to print to go with the Cd when I discovered this site comment. I have a friend who has a jazz group in Lawrence by the name of Mike Shurtz. Plays a lot at local bookstores on Massachussetts Street.

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  2. Also forgot to mention that I have some old stuff from the Red Dog days from the 60's I am willing to share if anyone interested.

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    1. Not sure I'm catching on...Red Dog days? Please elaborate.

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  3. That's Carol Comer, not Cox, who still teaches in the KC area. My Dad is Mike Ning, who came to KC in 1964 and is still playing.

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    1. Kristina, you're right, the LP clearly says Comer...thank you for the correction.
      Since your dad is Mike Ning, could you maybe provide his discography? He's listed on Discogs, but I know it's an incomplete list as I have additional LPs he's featured on. I'd appreciate it if you could.

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