Live at Cornell University, 1951

Stan Kenton

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Live at Cornell University, 1951 Review

by Scott Yanow

This 1993 CD of previously unreleased material features the most adventurous and controversial of Stan Kenton's bands, the Innovations Orchestra. Heard in the middle of their second (and sadly final) tour, the 40-piece Orchestra (which includes 17 strings) plays such material as "Opus In Pastels," "Dance Before the Mirror" (which is taken from Bob Graettinger's "City of Glass Suite"), "Halls of Brass," and the self-titled pieces "Shelly Manne," "John Graas," "Maynard Ferguson," "Art Pepper," and "Bob Cooper." With such soloists as the screaming trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, Bud Shank (mostly on flute), altoist Art Pepper, John Graas on French horn, tenorman Bob Cooper, and trumpeter Conte Candoli, the huge aggregation was top heavy with talent. However, it was the very advanced arrangements and the innovative use of strings that made this a unique if short-lived Orchestra. This concert recording has decent sound, and some inspired playing that ranks at the level of the band's studio sessions. Highly recommended to Stan Kenton fans.

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