Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Nice performance from a special edition of the Kenton band
James A. Vedda | Alexandria, VA USA | 02/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Mellophoniums added a quasi-French horn sound to the Kenton band for about three years in the early 1960s. This unique ensemble recorded only a few albums, so it's always a treat to find CD releases that preserve its sound, and in this case, let us experience a live performance. The 15 tracks presented here were recorded in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1962. The audio is clear and well-balanced. The arrangements, a mix of dance and jazz tunes, were done by Gene Roland and Lennie Niehaus, a couple of Kenton's most memorable writers. There's nice solo work, particularly from Gabe Baltazar on alto sax, Allan Beutler on baritone sax, and Marvin Stamm on trumpet.
These arrangements weren't designed to showcase the sax section, but the unusual scoring is quite noticeable. Instead of the usual two altos, two tenors, and baritone, these charts were written for one alto, two tenors, baritone, and bass sax.
I give this album five stars for its quality content and collectable value for Kenton fans, but take away one star for flaws in production. The liner notes are minimal and the track times listed are inaccurate. Most importantly, I disagree with the two previous reviewers who believe that the unedited space between tunes is somehow "fun" and adds value to the recording. On the contrary, it's simply dead air that should have been edited out (coughing, clattering, and a few words that can barely be made out). Almost every track has dead space at the beginning and end. The worst offenders are "Exit Stage Left" (which begins with 35 seconds of nothing) and "Blue Ointment" (which has 18 seconds blank at the beginning and an unforgivable 50 seconds at the end). These gaping holes do nothing to show how much fun the band was having - that comes out clearly during the tunes.
Despite the production flaws, this CD is definitely worth having for fans of this type of music."
GREAT LIVE KENTON !!
C. Law | Las Vegas, NV USA | 12/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album is another gem pulled from from that "secret" library of masters at Status, a British company who has issued several previously-unreleased, live, big-band sessions. They seem to have a pretty large storehouse from the early 60's. (They sure keep amazing ME with new recordings nobody knew of before!)THIS ALBUM IS SHEER FUN!! It's a good-quality, live recording of the famous Kenton "Mellophone Band," taped at a Salt Lake City ballroom in March, 1962. The band is having FUN and you can hear it between tunes, as the usual clowning and razzing that goes with road bands is heard (and not edited out). The CROWD is having a great time, too, and WHY NOT? They are getting a real treat, with all the charts from two of Stan's favorite arangers, Gene Roland and Lennie Niehaus and a band FULL OF TALENT: Gabe Baltazar, Charlie Mariano (on TENOR, here), Ray Florian, Allan Beutler & Joel Kaye are the saxes; Dalton Smith, Marv Stamm, Bob Behrendt, Keith Lamotte & Bob Rolfe make up the trumpet section; Ray Starling, Gene Roland, Dwight Carver and Carl Saunders play the always-tricky mellophones; with Bob Fitzpatrick, Dee Barton, Bud Parker, Jim Amlotte and Dave Wheeler in the bone section. Stan is assisted in the rhythm section by Val Kolar, bass, and Jerry McKenzie on drums.The recording was done very well on this and you can really HEAR and FEEL the AWESOME POWER of Kenton's 14-man brass section, just as you might have if you were in the first couple of rows of tables in the room that night!! A MUST FOR KENTON FANS! Also check out the (2) companion albums on Status, "Mellophonium Magic" and "More Mellophonium Moods," which are equally well- done, and (as all road bands DO) have some different personnel here and there. My advice would be to get ALL THREE TITLES and KNOCK YOURSELF OUT!!....THEY'RE TERRIFIC FUN !!"
A trip back in time to Lagoon in the 1960s.
Braden Miskin | Idaho Falls, ID United States | 02/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording is a great sampling of the kind of bands and great music which filled the old Patio Gardens ballroom at Lagoon. Lagoon Amusement Park still operates today, but after the big bands began yielding to younger, more popular acts like The Doors and The Rolling Stones, Lagoon decided to stop hosting concerts to keep the park family-oriented. Performances by major artists were rare after that and the Patio Gardens is now home to a video arcade.
It's very interesting to listen to this recording and experience what could be heard on a regular basis on warm summer nights at the park back then."