Stan Kenton: Trajectories
Stan Kenton (piano)
The Innovations Orchestra (Capitol Jazz 5269230)
Stan Kenton (piano), Buddy Childers (trumpet), Maynard Ferguson (trumpet), Shorty Rogers (trumpet), Milt Bernhart (trombone), Bill Russo (trombone), Bud Shank (alto sax, flute), Art Pepper (alto sax), Bob Cooper (tenor sax), Laurindo Almeida (guitar), Don Bagley (bass), Shelly Manne (drums),
Chico Alvarez, Don Paladino (trumpet); Harry Betts, Bob Fitzpatrick, Bart Varsalona (trombone); John Graas, Lloyd Otto (French horn); Gene Englund (tuba), Bart Caldarell (tenor sax, baritone saxes), Bob Gioga (baritone sax, bass clarinet), and a 16-piece string section.
Composed by Franklyn Marks.
Recorded: Hollywood, CA, February 5, 1950
Rating: 91/100 (learn more)
As usual, Stan Kenton was ahead of the curve. His Innovations in Modern Music Orchestra was an icebreaker, intrepidly forging an uncharted Third Stream long before Gunther Schuller named it. Here, composer Franklyn Marks shrewdly overcomes the inherent viscosity of strings by tracing pizzicato swirls across the clear night sky. Shelly Manne once famously griped that getting the Kenton band to swing was as strenuous as chopping wood, but the built-in momentum of "Trajectories" eases his woodchopper's chore. While the brass, alas, are vintage mid-century crime jazz, this pioneering expedition is among the friskiest voyages of discovery since Darwin's Beagle.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz