Monday, December 23, 2013

Concert Review: Kenton Christmas Carols at Southminster Presbyterian Church

I've never heard Stan Kenton's Christmas album.  Furthermore, it never occurred to me that I might actually enjoy it. 

The presence of some of Kansas City's top brass musicians in an ensemble consisting entirely of musicians donating their time lured me to Southminster Presbyterian Church yesterday afternoon.

Organized by trombonist Lindsey Williams and serving as a benefit for Meyer Music's Band of Angels program, the 50-minute track-by-track rendition of Kenton's album by the Holly and Ivy Brass was delightful.  About 150 people attended the performance.

Kenton's distinctively grandiose style lent itself to the familiar seasonal material.  Free from saxophones, Williams characterized the arrangements as an "explosion of brass."  The contributions of trumpeter Jay Sollenberger, a veteran of Kenton's orchestra, added luster to the occasion. 

The musicians' sterling effort is almost certainly one of the most meaningful Christmas presents I'll receive this season.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

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