Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

156

W: Artistry in Rhythm: The Music of Stan Kenton

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Würzburg Jazz Orchestra, formed only two years ago by trombonist Markus Geiselhart, hit the ground running with a tribute to the late trumpeter Don Ellis and within a year had recorded its first album, Artistry in Rhythm, dedicated to the music of the Stan Kenton Orchestra. It's an ambitious start, and by most standards a good one as well.

While it is clear from the opening measure that this isn't Stan Kenton, it is nonetheless a very good band playing very good music at a fairly high level. In other words, the WJO isn't comprised of amateurs. Geiselhart, who has since moved to Vienna, Austria, but remains the orchestra's leader, has his charges well-prepared for this concert performance, which not only includes compositions by Kenton but charts by Bill Holman, Lennie Niehaus, Bill Russo, Gerry Mulligan and even Bob Graettinger ("You Go to My Head, on which the ensemble experiences its greatest hardships).

There are solo features for trumpeters Klaus Wangorsch ("Portrait of a Count ) and Florian Brandl ("Pennies from Heaven ), alto Johannes Geiss ("Lover Man ) and tenor Jürgen Zimmermann ("Eager Beaver, "Malaguena ). Ed Partyka, a member of the Vienna Art Orchestra, among other well-known groups, is also "featured, but only as a member of the trombone section, as he doesn't solo.

The compositions by Kenton are "Eager Beaver and "Opus in Pastels, the last performed by the woodwinds and rhythm. Holman composed "Fearless Finlay and "Theme and Variations, Russo "23 Degrees North, 82 Degrees West, Mulligan "Walkin' Shoes, Ray Wetzel "Intermission Riff. Completing the program are "On the Street Where You Live, arranged by Niehaus, and "Limehouse Blues, arranged by Holman.

Applause can be heard after the various solos, but for some inexplicable reason, Geiselhart and recording engineer Peter Klautzsch have seen fit to eliminate audience reaction at the end of almost every number, resulting in a series of abrupt and unsatisfactory endings. Aside from that unwarranted and avoidable misstep, there's not much to complain about, even though the 49:46 playing time is less than one would wish. (One might also wish for Conte Candoli, Zoot Sims, Frank Rosolino, Shorty Rogers, Bill Perkins, Bob Cooper, Maynard Ferguson, Art Pepper, Shelly Manne, Milt Bernhart, Jack Sheldon, Stan Levey and a host of other Kenton stars of yesteryear, but that would be asking far too much.)

Although some die-hard Kenton purists may demur, this is on the whole a commendable effort to keep his music alive by a young but respectable orchestra from Western Europe.


Track Listing: Eager Beaver; Fearless Finlay; Lover Man; On the Street Where You Live; Malaguena; Opus in Pastels; 22 Degrees North, 82 Degrees West; Theme and Variations; Portrait of a Count; Walkin

Personnel: Markus Geiselhart: leader, trombone; Tobias Weidinger, Florian Jechlinger, Felix Jechlinger, Klaus Wangorsch, Florian Brandl: trumpet; Johannes Geiss, Matthias Zippel, J

Title: Artistry in Rhythm: The Music of Stan Kenton | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: WJO

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Live at Pyatt Hall CD/LP/Track Review Live at Pyatt Hall
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Flying Heart CD/LP/Track Review Flying Heart
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 23, 2018
Read The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by John Sharpe
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Solano Canyon CD/LP/Track Review Solano Canyon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read "The Look Of Love: Songs Of The Sixties" CD/LP/Track Review The Look Of Love: Songs Of The Sixties
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 4, 2017
Read "Roots Of Unity" CD/LP/Track Review Roots Of Unity
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "The Willisau Concert" CD/LP/Track Review The Willisau Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: October 24, 2017
Read "IIII+IIII" CD/LP/Track Review IIII+IIII
by James Nadal
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "Demons 1" CD/LP/Track Review Demons 1
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 1, 2017
Read "Strykin’ Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Strykin’ Ahead
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 30, 2017