This is a name to be reckoned with in the music of today and tomorrow. It is a name synonymous with music that is modern, vigorous, challenging—the subject of many a heated controversy…yet music that never fails to inspire enthusiasm in every audience. Perhaps the major key to Stan's amazing success, is his capacity to select outstanding talent and inspire it to greater achievement. Stan has never failed to give complete recognition to composers, arrangers, performers, and others who play a part in the conception and presentation of his exciting music. It is in appreciation of some of the most outstanding of these artists that Stan Kenton here proudly presents…
Modern jazz, as it continues in its development. is motivated by young men with a fresh approach and a new "feel." not only for their individual instruments, but for the melodic and harmonic structure of the music itself. Art Pepper is such a musician. One of the leaders in the art of improvisation, he is dramatically presented in this composition scored by Rogers especially lo highlight the skill of this alto-sax virtuoso.
One of the truly amazing talents of this age, Maynard Ferguson has demonstrated capabilities of the trumpet undreamed of until now. Featured here in a Rogers composition especially designed to showcase his skill, he gives us some of the most exciting and startling music heard in this period of innovation.
HALLS OF BRASS
The iconoclastic use of brass in the Kenton orchestra has been a source of much controversy among musicians and critics. Kenton believes that the men of jazz have opened new channels in musical sounds through the power, body, and the heretofore unexplored range of their brass instruments. Bill Russo produced this fantasy for brass scored for five trumpets. four tenor trombones. one bass trombone, four horns in F, and tuba…with cymbals and tympani.
EVENING IN PAKISTAN
An unlikely picture of Kenton in Karachi but an attractive mood piece just the same. This Frank Marks arrangement begins with just a 0part of the band, and then, playing in a quiet and mildly oriental manner, trombonist Milt Bernhart soon comes to the fore with a graceful solo. The tempo gradually accelerates. The instrumentation grows, the tonal colors change, the excitement increases. By the time Milt Bernhart returns for another solo, "Evening in Pakistan" has turned into a wild and minaret-shaking affair.
Long featured with Stan Kenton's orchestra, June Christy ranks among the leaders of vocal innovation. She has pioneered in the growing field of vocal jazz which employs the voice as an instrument, displaying its unique and versatile tonal quality rather than its ability, to sing lyrics; and her skillful projection of a wide range of emotion through this medium is beautifully demonstrated in this composition for jazz voice and rhythm section,
HOUSE OF STRINGS
Because of its emotional versatility the violin is said to be the instrument of the Gods. In jazz, for the most part, this versatility has traditionally been put to only limited use. In support of this instrument's rightful place of importance, Kenton presents in "House of Strings" a composition which demonstrates its true scope of expression. Here are string sounds broad in their sweep, capable of portraying musically almost any human emotion from repose to terror. Here is the family of stringed instruments in the breadth of its glory.
Perhaps least .exploited of all the "solo" instruments of jazz are the drums. Traditionally relegated to the simple function of providing an unvarying "beat," their versatility in the hands of a gifted musician is seldom recognized. Here, under the inspiration of Shelly Manne's genius and originality the drums—and especially the cymbals—produce fresh and unique textures of sound for the enhancement of modern orchestral music.
Composer-arranger Johnny Richards provides the Kenton crew with an unusually lovely and melodic theme. It goes in and out of tempo in provocative fashion and offers trombonist Milt Bernhart a chance to take off on a tasteful, imaginative solo. Kenton calls this "a journey into the subconscious." And a very consciously pleasant journey, too.
"Record Review. Stan Kenton Presents (Capitol Album 248)." Metronome, January 1951.
Halls of Brass
House of Strings
This collection of Kenton innovations. defies rating, which is as much to its credit as to the critic’s confusion. Its several virtuoso display-pieces are, with the exception of Maynard Ferguson's exercise in screech, more mature investigations of alto saxophone (Pepper), voice (Christy) and drums (Manne) than usual. The brass Halls resound to Bill Russo's effective manipulation of trombones, trumpets, horns and tuba. The House of Strings presents what is possibly the finest string performance on records, in or out of jazz, in a brilliant organization of twelve-tone resources by Bob Graettinger, who comes of musical age with this work. (Capitol album 248)
"Record Review: Stan Kenton Presents." Billboard, 11 November 1950: 37.
STAN KENTON PRESENTS—Stan Kenton Ork. (1-10”)
Capitol (33) L-248
Rating 82 out of 100
This is the sequel to Kenton’s most recent package, “Innovations,” which was a long-time best seller. Current package’s content and titles are based on the individual and ensemble stars of the Kenton organization. Featured are Art Pepper, Shelley Manne, June Christy, the Halls of Brass, House of Strings and Maynard ferguson. thins the Kenton concert band of over 40 tootles and its second album effort should go where its predecessor sold. Most interesting piece is the House of Strings sequence; remainder are either geared for sensationalism or are just plain pretentious.
JUKES Not suitable
JOCKS For those who whirl Kenton, this is a healthy side.
Chris Sheridan. "Record Review: Stan Kenton Presents." Jazz Journal International. March 1982. 47.
STAN KENTON PRESENTS
(c) Art Pepper; (e) Maynard Ferguson; (d) Halls Of Brass; (b) Evening In Pakistan (18.16) - (f) June Christy; (g) House Of Strings; (e) Shelly Manne; (a) Soliloquy (17.24)
la) Chico Alvarez, Buddy Childers, Maynard Ferguson, Don Paladino, Shorty Rogers (t); Milt Bernhardt. Harrv Betts. Bob Fitzoatrick . Bill Russo, Bart Varsalona (tb); John Graas, Lloyd Otto (frh); Gene Englund (tu); Art Pepper (f/cl/as); Bud Shank (f/as); Bob Cooper (eh/ob/ts); Bart Caldarell (ts/bsn); Bob Gioga (bc/bs); Kenton (p); Laurindo Almeida (g); Don Bagley (b); Shelly Manne (d/tym); Carlos Vidal (cg); June Christy (vo); strings. LA, 3 /2/50. (b) 4/2/50. (c) Clyde Brown (btb) repl. Varsalona. LA. 18/5/00. (d) Brass, p, d only. Add John Cave, Sinclair Lott (frh). Same date. (e) as (c) 15/6/50. (f) as (c) 21/8/50. (g) Strings only. 24/8/50.
Toshiba-EMI/Capitol ECJ-50056 (T248)
This reissue is valuable for concentrating attention on the Innovations Orchestra’s virtues, rather than flaws. The latter include Halls Of Brass, the overblown Pakistan and Christy, which outlines few of June’s talents. More positive is Strings, which acts almost as a blueprint for the most successful ‘with strings’ recordings since, including Stan Getz’s peerless ‘Focus’, which is strongly augured here, and in the backing to Art Pepper’s eponymous little suite. The reclusive Bob Graettinger was responsible for Strings; Shorty Rogers for Pepper and the exciting Ferguson, which managed to forge a framework for Maynard’s otherwise vapid high-note technique. Manne is less successful, despite the drummer’s undoubted gifts with percussive colour.
Even after 30 years, this remains a curate’s egg, but worth hearing for its positive achievements, several of which were further-reaching than is generally owned.
1. Art Pepper (Shorty Rogers)
arr. by Shorty Rogers
solo: Pepper (as)
2. Maynard Ferguson (Shorty Rogers)
arr. by Shorty Rogers
solo: Ferguson (tp)
3. Halls Of Brass (Bill Russo)
arr. by Bill Russo
solos: Fitzpatrick (tb) Manne (d) Grass (Fr-h)
4. June Christy (Stan Kenton)
arr. by Stan Kenton
vocal: June Christy
solo: Manne (timp)
5. House Of Strings (Bob Graettinger)
arr. by Bob Graettinger
6. Shelly Manne (Stan Kenton)
arr. by Stan Kenton
solos: Manne (perc) Grass (Fr-h)
Added to T 248
Evening In Pakistan (Franklyn Marks)
Soliloquy (Johnny Richards)
Additional Capitol versions
12” LP — T 248
CDP 7243 8 59965 2 8 — CD
Creative World reissue — ST-1023 — 12” LP