Recorded in stereo at Harper College, Palatine Illinois during the 1978 farewell tour. Title tune not found on any other Kenton release!
The last version of Stan Kenton\'s band was on the road (where else?) when it played this concert in Illinois on a spring evening in 1978. Four months later, the band would disband for the last time. Fortunately, the concert was recorded and is now on this CD for all to hear.
\"Body and Soul,\" a beautiful Marty Paich arrangement, is a feature for Kenton\'s piano and he solos at length on his own arrangement of \"All the Things You Are,\" Hank Levy\'s chart of Johnny Mandel\'s \"A Time For Love,\" \"What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life\" and \"Artistry in Rhythm.\" \"A Little Minor Booze,\" the familiar Willie Maiden original, is opened up for some solos from Stuckey, Bard, Jenkins and Doll with the two trumpets getting into some exchanges following their solos. Ken Hanna\'s \"Bogota\" is one of this concert\'s Latin offerings and opens with Lopez on conga. Homefield. Jenkins. Reynolds and Cummings get some space, too, the latter sharing with the return of Lopez to the spotlight. \"Stella by Starlight\" is a feature for the alto of Michael Bard who also is prominent on \"What Are You Doing...\" and \"Peanut Vendor.\" It must be Bard\'s flute that gets \"Peanut Vendor\" off and running before Homefield grabs the ball. There is more flute before the trumpet section leaves the bandstand and takes it to the audience. They become fainter, of course, leaving us with the churning rhythm section to enjoy. Did the crowd love it?
So, it was just another in a long career of one-nighters for Stan Kenton. Perhaps he sensed that he wasn\'t going to be doing this for too much longer, or maybe he didn\'t.
Either way, this is where he wanted to be on that particular night. Whether or not this is the last recording that will surface of the final band is unknown to me, but it is certainly worthwhile having this disc. Producer Bill Lichtenauer has done a good job in putting the package together. The enclosed booklet has a list of things having to do with Kenton which may interest you (you can join, buy and support) and there is Shelly Manne\'s written tribute to Kenton. And more.