Monday, July 24, 2006


Kenton Encores

Well, the next thing underneath the George Archer set on the pile-to-get-encoded was this interesting Capitol set of Stan Kenton sides. The album is called "Encores" and contains some pretty interesting stuff, including an appearance by none other than bongo-king Jack Costanzo!

I had an issue with the first disc, as there was a huge crack & piece of it sitting in the bottom of the sleeve. Not pretty. But thanks to CoolEdit, I managed to make a listenable effort from the 2 affected sides.

Here's the cuts and soloists on them:
- Capitol Punishment - a Pete Rugolo chart, with Boots Mussulli on alto and Kai Windig on trombone.

- Somnambulism - a Ken Hanna chart, with George Weidler on alto and Milt Bernhardt on trombone.

- He's Funny That Way - Pete Rugolo's arrangement with the Misty June Christy on sultry vocals.

- Abstraction - another Rugolo chart, this time Stan takes on solo duties, with Eddie Safranski on bass and George Wiedler on the alto.

- Peg O' My Heart - Pete's arrangement of the standard, with Stan on piano, Eddie Safranski on bass, Vido Musso on tenor and Kai Windig on trombone.

- Chorale for Brass, Piano and Bongo - Rugolo wrote and arranged this, Stan on piano, Milt Bernhardt on lead trombone, Buddy Childers on lead trumpet, and bongo king Jack Costanzo on bongos.

Nice stuff this, bridging the gap between jazz and something you might hear on a 1960s Italian film soundtrack. A couple of these cuts were cutting-edge, even for the Kenton band in the 1950s!

For the most part, this set was in very nice shape, even the disc that had the big chunk out of it (which happened between the thrift store and my house, which frustrates me to NO end...) was in very good looking shape.

More coming, including another batch of BG airchecks on MGM LP (by request)!

These are astonishing recordings. Me thinks they may have first been recorded as transcriptions and later released on LP. Whatever their original purpose, they make me remember why Stan Kenton was one of the superheroes of my adolescence. Thanks.
Interested in whether the vac-o-rec works. My daughter gave me one, and I've not used it.

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