131

Mike Vax Big Band: I Remember You

By

Sign in to view read count
Subtitled "A Musical Tribute to Stan Kenton, Johnny Richards and Dick Shearer," this album features alumni of the Stan Kenton Orchestra from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s in some of the finest big band performances recorded anywhere. Although Kenton's will forbade "ghost bands" (like those that endlessly repeat the music of Glenn Miller), trumpeter Mike Vax has been able to put together what has now become an annual tour of Kenton alumni (and newcomers) to perform the music of the Kenton era as well as new works written in the style of, or inspired by, Stan Kenton. The stable of great composers who wrote for his band include Pete Rugolo, Bill Holman, Bill Russo, Gene Roland, Johnny Richards, Hank Levy, Dee Barton, Lennie Niehaus and Willie Maiden.

The album leads off with Willie Maiden's swinging original "A Little Minor Booze," a barnburner in the best Kenton tradition. Fans of the Kenton bands of the 1960s, especially those great ensembles which performed such works as Johnny Richards' "Adventures in Time," will remember lead alto player Gabe Baltazar. On this album we hear Baltazar's arrangement of Carlos Santana's "Europa," featuring Steve Wilkerson on alto sax. Most people will recognize "Europa" from the popular recording made by Argentine tenor saxophonist Gato Barbieri.

Particularly moving is the band's performance of "Eurydice," the last composition ever written by Johnny Richards, and a piece he never got to hear performed before his tragic death from cancer. Fans will notice a similarity between this piece and the introduction to "Quintile" from the Adventures in Time album, also composed by Richards.

Composer/arranger John Leubke contributes some very nice new charts from right out of the Kenton tradition, including the Joe Cocker ballad "You Are So Beautiful" (a very nice song when Joe Cocker isn't singing), and "Samba da Gamba," which sounds at times like it could have been written by Hank Levy, who was best known for his use of unusual time signatures.

I Remember You is much more than a trubute album. It is a demonstration of how Kenton's music is living on and developing in new and exciting ways. And that, I suppose, is exactly the kind of tribute that Stan Kenton would have wanted.


Track Listing: A Little Minor Booze; Europa; Eurydice; I Remember You; You Are So Beautiful; The Singing Oyster; Yesterdays; Fata Morgana; Makin' Whoopee; Peanut Vendor; Along Came Bill; Samba Da Gamba

Personnel: Mike Vax, trumpet, leader; Members of the Mike Vax Big Band

Year Released: 1995 | Record Label: Master Source | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Oratorios and Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Oratorios and Songs
by John Eyles
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Poetry For The Beat Generation" CD/LP/Track Review Poetry For The Beat Generation
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "Dancing Our Way To Death" CD/LP/Track Review Dancing Our Way To Death
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Saga Thirteen" CD/LP/Track Review Saga Thirteen
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 29, 2016
Read "Sunshine Seas" CD/LP/Track Review Sunshine Seas
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 22, 2016
Read "December Songs" CD/LP/Track Review December Songs
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!