Rifftides reader Jay Thomas, a star of the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, alerts us to a broadcast of the SRJO’s concert of Benny Carter’s Kansas City Suite.
If you missed our Kansas City Suite concerts on March 15-16, the entire 10-movement suite will be re-broadcast over KPLU FM 88.5 on Jim Wilke’s Jazz Northwest show this coming Sunday, April 6 at 1:00 PM PDT.
You can also hear the broadcast online at KPLU.org from anywhere in the world. This was a very popular concert, so we hope you can tune in.
Kansas City Suite is one of Carter’s middle period masterpieces. Count Basie recorded it for Roulette in 1960 with his “new testament” band that included Thad Jones, Joe Newman, Frank Wess, Frank Foster, Marshall Royal, Benny Powell, Al Grey and the great latterday Basie rhythm section. Capitol reissued it as a compact disc in 1990, but the LP and the CD fell out of circulation long ago. An internet search discloses that the Basie version is available only as a used LP or an MP3 download. So Jim Wilke’s KPLU broadcast of the SRJO may be the only chance for many people to hear an important Carter work.
At the Berlin Jazz Fest in 1989, Carter and the WDR Big Band played the opening movement of the suite, with John Clayton conducting. To see and hear video of that performance, click here. Notice Clayton looking boyish and Carter, who was eighty-two, only slightly older. The WDR-ites should have eliminated any shred of doubt that Europeans can swing.