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 Stan Kenton Orchestra - Stompin’ At Newport (2002)

Stan Kenton Orchestra - Stompin’ At Newport (2002) As a bandleader and piano player, Stan Kenton helped to push the musical envelope in the jazz genre. He enabled future luminaries to approach their music in the same fashion. If you listen to this music in the present tense in reference to current musical developments alone, it does not sound progressive by any means. Keep in mind it was 1957 when all of this (previously unreleased) music came to life and was quickly put on the shelf, not to see the light of day for over forty years. In retrospect, those times were critical to the development of the jazz genre. With all of that in the forefront of your mind, listening to these timeless gems puts a different spin on the entire experience. If you take this CD and put it in your stereo without reading the informative liner notes, your thoughts and feelings will be different. It happened to me. I am a spoiled listener due to all the advances in sound and I noticed that this remastered package did not have the crisp and clear high-end sound that I have become accustomed to like with the Fantasy Jazz 20 bit K2 product. After I read the liner notes carefully and thought about what kind of equipment they used to record this live performance coupled with the timeframe, I considered my first opinion as to harsh and unrealistic when looking at the entire picture.

This is an intimate setting with various band members getting their turn to interact with the crowd before they began their part in a song. There was a warm and inviting atmosphere created that day and the audience seemed to enjoy it, as their reaction to each performance certainly indicated.

Tracks such as “La Suerte de los Tontos (Fortune of Fools)” and “23 Degrees North, 82 Degrees West” spiced up the day Cuban style hinting at the beginnings of world-jazz interpretations in the genus. This music was also representative of how the band was much more than one dimensional, putting Kenton in a decidedly progressive improviser leadership role that he fulfilled with the utmost professionalism and expertise.

This is all about history, culture, and how jazz became what it is today. That in and of itself is enough impetus to purchase this CD, then if you happen to be a Stan Kenton enthusiast or a jazz collector, this is a lost treasure that will become a welcome addition to your archives.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
Posted By: Keith Hannaleck
Genre: Instrumental, Orchestral Jazz, Traditional Pop, Progressive Jazz, Progressive Big Band

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