Stan Kenton & His Orchestra / Stan Kenton

Live at Redlands University

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This double album is pretty definitive of Stan Kenton's later orchestras. Few of the musicians ever became even minor names; not counting veteran saxophonist Willie Maiden, trumpeters Mike Vax and Warren Gale, trombonist Dick Shearer and drummer John Von Ohlen are the only recognizable players. The arrangements are generally workmanlike and sometimes dramatic but rarely memorable (those of Bill Holman and Willie Maiden excepted) and the old favorite "Peanut Vendor" (here renamed "More Peanut Vendor") gets the most spirited performance. By this point Stan Kenton had so influenced the college stage band movement (and was largely forced economically to use younger musicians) that his orchestra itself sounded like one of the faceless college orchestras. Still, these versions of "Artistry in Rhythm" and "Granada" make up in emotion for the general lack of creative spontaneity and should satisfy fans of those anonymous student big bands.

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