Stan Kenton

Live at Butler University, 1972

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This CD (which was reissued in 1991) features Stan Kenton's mostly anonymous 1972 orchestra performing charts mostly by Hank Levy and Ken Hanna. Best known among the sidemen are trumpeter Mike Vax (who is not featured), trombonist Dick Shearer, and veteran baritonist Willie Maiden, who is also not really heard from. Although the soloists have spirit, none are particularly distinctive, but some of the arrangements are fairly memorable, most notably "Levy's Samba Siete," Maiden's "Boilermaker," "Blues Between & Betwixt" (one of five numbers actually recorded later the same day, after the Butler University concert) and "Fragment of a Portrait." Kenton attempts some humor on "St. James Infirmary," taking a worthwhile vocal, although the jokes don't really cut it. Overall, however, this is one of the better late-period Stan Kenton albums.

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