Stan Kenton


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The Classics chronological volume 1951 includes the last recordings from Stan Kenton's Innovations Orchestra, which he dissolved by the end of the year. (Carrying a band of 40 pieces on cross-country tours came to a fantastic expense, and the band's heady charts prevented it from becoming a moneymaker). From a late March session, "Dynaflow" became one of the Kenton band's finest charts, though the flip side (a humorous Mexican novelty called "Tortillas and Beans") doesn't wear as well, despite some excellent work from the brass. The next session, from May, brought two bizarre sides: a trad version of "Laura," with the whole band delivering a stoic chorus vocal, and a boogie version of "Stardust" that worked slightly better. "Coop's Solo," for tenor Bob Cooper, is one of the most famous numbers associated with the Innovations Orchestra, and a six-song standards date from September included several excellent features for singer June Christy ("Easy Street," "Come Rain or Come Shine"). Roughly half-a-dozen titles make their CD debut (apart from Mosaic's unapproachable The Complete Capitol Recordings of Stan Kenton), and didn't even appear on Capitol's two-disc Innovations Orchestra set.

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