Stan Kenton: City of Glass


City of Glass


Stan Kenton (piano)


City of Glass (Capitol Jazz 7243 832084 2 5)

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Stan Kenton (piano),

John Howell, Maynard Ferguson, Conte Candoli, Stu Williamson, John Coppola (trumpets), Bob Fitzpatrick, Harry Betts, Dick Kenney, Bill Russo, George Roberts (trombones), John Graas, Lloyd Otto, George Price (French horns), Stan Fletcher (tuba), Bud Shank, Art Pepper (alto saxes), Bob Cooper, Bart Calderall (tenor saxes), Bob Gioga (baritone sax), 17-piece string section featuring Gregory Bemko (cello), Stan Kenton (piano), Ralph Blaze (guitar), Don Bagley (bass), Shelly Manne (drums, tympani)


Composed by Bob Graettinger


Recorded: Hollywood, December 5, 1951


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

"You're not supposed to understand it," Stan Kenton advised. "You experience it with your subconscious." Audiences, though, lacked his psychoanalytic insight. City of Glass' 1948 premiere reduced the Chicago Civic Opera House to stunned silence. An all-dissonance analogue to the "all-glass" architecture then redefining urban skylines, Bob Graettinger's modernistic magnum opus ironically suffered the fate of historic landmarks in the bulldozer's path: prompt demolition. Kenton never again publicly performed City of Glass in its atonal entirety, conceding: "It's very advanced music, and the average person can't take too much of it." Fortunately, visitors aren't average, and never shrink from challenges.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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  • 1 Paul Irgens // Oct 08, 2008 at 05:36 PM
    At high chool I listened to Kenton/Graettingers"City of Glass". Later, when a student, I started writing a collection of poetry very much inspired by Robert Graettinger's music. If anyone should be interested, I could send them, via e-mail, the collection. Three years ago a student at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trond Engum, asked if he could use the poems for his theses. Now it is a c.d.- with the same name,- "City of Glass". You may find it on the net, part of it, under "". I admire Robwert graettinger and am sad he died so young. Paul Irgens