From Pablo Records comes a previously unreleased sound document of the Stan Kenton Orchestra’s 1957 Newport visit. The music will be no surprise to fans of Kenton, who will undoubtedly want to get their hands on this potential addition to their collection. However, there are not too many compelling reasons for those who do not worship Kenton’s sense of swing to run out and buy "Stompin’ at Newport."
"The Opener," "Artistry in Rhythm," and "Stompin’ at the Savoy" all cover familiar territory for Kenton and crew, with moments in which some might wish that Kenton had been less fond of playing the piano. The arrangements are, yes, Kentonian, which to me, means grandiose, very brassy, sometimes clunky and not so conducive to swinging, and complicated for the sake of being complicated.
Nonetheless, Kenton devotees will probably like this un-vaulted item. Furthermore, in many cases, the trees are more interesting than the forest - there are some excellent solo turns from Lennie Niehaus, Sam Noto, Bill Perkins and others throughout.