Stan Kenton: Eager Beaver
Stan Kenton (piano)
Kenton In Hi-Fi (Capitol B2-98451)
Ed Leddy, Maynard Ferguson, Vinnie Tano, Pete Candoli, Don Paladino (trumpets), Carl Fontana, Bob Fitzpatrick, Milt Bernhart, Kent Larsen, Don Kelly (trombones), Lennie Niehaus, Arthur “Skeets” Herfurt (alto saxes), Bill Perkins, Spencer Sinatra (tenor saxes), Jack Nimitz (baritone sax), Stan Kenton (piano), Ralph Blaze (guitar), Don Bagley (bass), Mel Lewis (drums).
Composed and arranged by Stan Kenton.
Recorded: Hollywood, February 12, 1956
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
In 1943, Stan Kenton vied for personnel with the military draft. Kenton was a formidable presence, but no match for Uncle Sam. Uncle Stan decided a trademark tune à la Glenn Miller's "In the Mood" would help him survive the war even with raw recruits. Thus was born "Eager Beaver," a term that had lately gained currency to describe raw recruits anxious to please their drill sergeants. This track, Drill Sgt. Kenton's 1956 remake, boasts musicians and recording quality superior to his 1943 original, but in either case "Eager Beaver" is a fitting tribute to the industriousness of North America's largest rodent (and Oregon's official mammal).
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz