Tuesday, 3 May 2016

City Of Glass

Stan Kenton And His Orchestra - City Of Glass - 1951
CAPITOL Records LC 6577 - 10" LP

Side A
Entrance To The City
The Structures

Side B
Dance Before The Mirror

Stan Kenton was always a champion of 'modern' or 'progressive' jazz, indeed many of the big names in West Coast jazz served their apprenticeships in his orchestras. The collaborations he made with contemporary classical composer Bob Graettinger though must surely be his most 'out there'. This album, recorded in 1951, is described by the composer as suggesting "a city in which the structures are shapes of musical sound, transparent and in constant motion, so that one can be seen through the outlines of others - a city of glass-like edifices".

The music is very abstract and by no means an easy listen, but well worth it. Sadly I can no longer listen to it, far too painful, but that's no reason for you not to. Although you can listen to everything Stan Kenton recorded with Bob Graettinger on Spotify here I realise this may be a bit much for the casual listener so I made a Spotify playlist of just the City Of Glass tracks here

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