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Stan Kenton: Revelations: Repertoire Rarities 1940-1978

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There has always been much to admire in and learn from the Kenton orchestra, and Revelations does a great job of presenting the band’s creative evolution. Working largely from airshots and live recordings, the producers have worked hard to capture the character and essence of the band through its protean life span. French horns and mellophoniums came and went, but the core and commitment of the band seem constant: Bring in the freshest approach to the jazz orchestra, make the soundfield as broad and deep as possible and give the soloists plenty to play with and play against.

There are too many highlights to list here-and too many players as well-but a few will give a sense of the producers’ achievements. It is wonderful to get better acquainted with Red Dorris’ tenor solos, so apt and on point; young Art Pepper’s prodigious talent straining at the bounds of the arrangements, helping to define the tension that is so much a part of the Kenton sound; and it is fascinating to hear the band and its sound evolve.

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