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Live & Screamin
Chicago Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra
Live & Screamin
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Chicago Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra
Title: Live & Screamin
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Lakeshore Jazz
Release Date: 6/23/1998
Album Type: Import, Live
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Style: Swing Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 641555960120

CD Reviews

Stan Lives!
Dave Nathan | Chicago, IL United States | 10/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Stan lives! If you really want to know what big bands are all about, and why
some people remain helplessly enchanted by their near-hypnotic charm, go
directly to Track 3 - do not pass go - and listen closely to Bill Holman's
breathtaking arrangement of "What's New?," brilliantly interpreted by Lenny
King's superlative Chicago Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra (in whose ranks are
some of the area's finest Jazz musicians). If that doesn't convince you that
the big bands aren't yet breathing their last, I'd guess that nothing will. I
believe my pulse rate must have doubled while the CMJO was reinvigorating
that classic Holman chart, and I was grinning from ear to ear (always an
indication of unbridled enjoyment). But this is no more than one should
anticipate from King's impressive orchestra, which has been dazzling
Chicagoans for nearly four years with its marvelous interpretations of music
written by or for Stan Kenton or performed by Stan's fondly remembered big
bands. Now, with Live and Screamin', recorded in front of a remarkably
attentive and well-behaved audience at FitzGerald's nightclub in suburban
Berwyn, the rest of the country - and the world - has a chance to learn
what Chicago already knows, namely, that the venerated spirit of Kenton is
alive and well in the Windy City thanks to the enterprising and talented
CMJO. And not the spirit of Kenton alone, as the orchestra doesn't confine
itself to his music. The high-octane opener, "Magic Flea," is a Basie chart
written by the peerless Sammy Nestico. Woody Herman is represented by
Don Rader's funky "Greasy Sack Blues," Maynard Ferguson by Don
Sebesky's arrangement of "Maria" and Adrian Drover's treatment of
"MacArthur Park" (each of which features the glass-shattering trumpet of
Dennis Noday). Noday also solos on Gordon Brisker's splendid arrangement
of Bobby Shew's tribute to Blue Mitchell, "Blue." Besides "What's New?," the
songs associated with Kenton include "A Time for Love" (arranged by Hank
Levy), the Lennie Niehaus tribute "I Remember Stan," Holman's enchanting
arrangement of "Yesterdays" (featuring the outstanding tenor saxophonist
Mark Colby), Gene Roland's "Fitz" (especially appropriate in light of the
venue), Johnny Richards' fiery "El Congo Valiente," the Niehaus arrangement
of "But Beautiful," and Dee Barton's treatment of "Here's That Rainy Day."
Completing the program is the standard "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the
Most" (another terrific arrangement, this one by Frank Mantooth), which I
believe June Christy or someone else (Chris Connor?) may have sung with
the Kenton band. While the Holman charts (the first of which includes
galvanizing solos by Colby, Terry Connell, Chris Sarlas and Tim Coffman) are
in a class by themselves, everything on this spellbinding disc goes far beyond
noteworthy. The ensemble is alert and explosive, the rhythm section alive and
kickin' butt, the soloists (especially Colby, Connell, Sarlas, pianist Don Stille
and trombonists Tim Coffman, John Mose and Hary Kozlowski) sharp and
resilient, and Noday's "Maynard impression" almost letter-perfect. Nowhere is
the Kenton imprint more conspicuous than on "I Remember Stan," wherein
Stille's unaccompanied piano is a virtual mirror image of Stan's, while
Niehaus' perceptive arrangement and Jim Peterson's soft-flowing flugel solo
reframe perfectly the magic that was and always will be Kenton. In one
listener's humble opinion, this is no less than a screamin' masterpiece, and
wherever Stan is, he must be smiling. If you can find a copy, grab it! Personnel: Lenny King, leader; Dennis Noday, guest trumpet soloist; Chris
Sarlas, John Irabagon, Kent Lawson, Mark Colby, Frank Catalano, Ken
Kistner, saxophones; Joey Tartell, Kirk Garrison, Terry Connell, Jim
Peterson, Tom Baker, Amir Elsaffar, Randy Kulik, trumpets; John Mose, Hary
Kozlowski, Tim Coffman, Tom Stark, trombones; Joh McAllister, bass
trombone, tuba; Don Stille, Ron Mills, piano; David Rothstein, bass; Charlie
Braugham, Bob Chmel, drums; Al Keeler, Latin percussion."