Stan Kenton: Fuego Cubano (Cuban Fire)
Fuego Cubano (Cuban Fire)
Stan Kenton and His Orchestra
Cuban Fire! (Capitol Jazz 96260)
Stan Kenton (piano), Sam Noto (trumpet), Julius Watkins (French horn), Carl Fontana (trombone), Lennie Niehaus (alto sax), Bill Perkins (tenor sax), Billy Root (baritone sax), Curtis Counce (bass), Mel Lewis (drums),
Ed Leddy (trumpet), Vinnie Tanno (trumpet), Lee Katzman (trumpet), Phil Gilbert (trumpet), Al Mattaliano (trumpet), Irving Rosenthal (French horn), Bob Fitzpatrick (trombone), Kent Larsen (trombone), Don Kelly (bass trombone), Jay McAllister (tuba), Eli “Lucky” Thompson (tenor saxophone), Ralph Blaze (guitar), Willie Rodriguez (bongos), Tommy Lopez (conga), George Laguna (timbales), Roger Mozian (claves), Mario Alvarez (maracas), Sol Gubin (timpani).
Composed by Johnny Richards.
Recorded: New York, NY, May 23, 1956
Rating: 99/100 (learn more)
This is the title track from the Cuban Fire Suite, an album that is perhaps Kenton’s masterpiece. Stan was determined to record a suite that would combine a big band jazz approach with authentic Cuban rhythms and song forms, and he commissioned Johnny Richards to compose the music. Richards, one of the most schooled composers of big band music, did a great amount of research, and assembled an excellent rhythm section with the help of Willie Rodriguez. The title track begins freely and powerfully, and then calms down at the introduction of the melody played by Larsen with a muted Noto improvising under him (a favorite Richards device). Thompson and Fontana also solo. This album was so successful that it helped launch Richards as a leader.
Reviewer: Jeff Sultanof