Flyin’ Through Florida – Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra, Directed by Mike Vax


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One of the few touring big bands on the road, the Kenton Legacy Orchestra with their first (of 21 tours) through Florida, playing in nine cities, capturing the best of it on record! There are eight new pieces and four that come from the “old days”…the band ALWAYS strives to keep with Kenton’s thoughts about not doing too much “nostalgia”… with a main goal to produce new music in the Kenton style!

The oldies include “Artistry Jumps,” with the original arrangement; two arrangements that Dave Barduhn did back in the 1970s, “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” and “Through the Eyes of Love;” and finally what they now call “El Manisero, La Ultima Vez.” Wait until you hear what the rhythm section does with this piece – completely different than any recordings before.

The new music is very exciting. As usual the writers have come up with a bunch of winners! Joel Kaye has given us a new arrangement of the Johnny Richards original that was recorded by Frank Sinatra “Young at Heart,” an original called “Psyche,” and an Al Cohn tune for the Saxophone section, “Shazam.” Scott Whitfield has arranged the Puccini aria “O Mio Babbino Caro” as a solo for Mike Vax, and Jennifer Leitham’s original “The Trashman Commeth,” as well as a great double bill so to speak, of “How High the Moon and Ornithology,” for he and Ginger to sing. There is a wonderful arrangement of “After You’ve Gone” by Dennis Noday’s good friend Lee Harris. Finally.” And last but certainly not least is Charlie Ferguson’s stirring arrangement of “Someday,” a pop tune done for sure in the Kenton Style.

SAXOPHONES: Kim Richmond, Phil Hilger, Rick Condit, Joel Kaye, Tami Davidsson, Bill Prince
TROMBONES: Scott Whitfield, Dale Devoe, Dave Keim, Kenny Shroyer, Rich Bullock
TRUMPETS: Mike Vax, Dennis Noday, John Harner, Jim Oatts,
Greg McLean
PIANO: Charlie Ferguson
BASS: Jennifer Leithan
DRUMS: C.E. Askew
VOCALS: Scott Whitfield,Ginger Berglund

MIKE VAX, a Kenton Alum, has devoted much of his professional life keeping the legacy of big band music, most notably that of Stan Kenton, alive and vibrant. In addition to Kenton’s musical legacy, Vax has carried on the Kenton dedication to education, an area where Kenton was one of the early leaders. One result of Vax’s efforts is the existence of THE STAN KENTON LEGACY ORCHESTRA, a big band that Vax has fronted through a few name changes for 25 years.