Stan Kenton: The Peanut Vendor (1947)
El Manisero (The Peanut Vendor)
Stan Kenton (piano)
The Best of Stan Kenton (Capitol CDP 7243 8 31504 2 7)
Stan Kenton (piano),
big band featuring Milt Bernhart (trombone) and Shelly Manne (drums).
Composed by Moises Simons; arranged by Stan Kenton.
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
More well known that the first popular American version recorded by Don Azpiazu’s Orchestra in 1931, this arrangement was the beginning of Kenton’s lifelong commitment to the exploration of Afro-Cuban music. Both the Azpiazu and Kenton renditions of this song, which celebrates the life of the pregonero (street vendor), were hugely popular in their respective eras. Because the Kenton band was already highly regarded, his recording reached a wider American audience. One of the most distinctive features of this track is the hypnotic repetition of the background—very common in Afro-Cuban music, but not in American jazz—over which soloists and percussionists elaborate and improvise varying patterns.
Reviewer: Mark Lomanno