I had heard comments to the effect that this particular compact disc was confirming Kim Richmond's place as the new Stan Kenton. With this thought in mind and remembering seeing and hearing the concert jazz orchestra in concert, and on the debut CD, I played the disc for the first time. I must admit that I wanted to hear the Kim Richmond I knew. This meant the music should be eloquent, clichÈ free, teasing me with gorgeous lyrical lines, complex but irresistible music with great depth. Emotionally I hoped to be surprised by being whisked from gentle lyrical intensity to hard driving swing by way of interludes showing Kim's love and respect for influences as varied as Shostakovitch and Thad Jones.
Apart from acknowledging that Stan Kenton among others did push the envelope, refusing to accept that the style of big bands was set in stone, I find there is little to suggest that some messianic wish was being fulfilled. I hear the Kim I know and respect, being to true to his creative imperitives.
Kim Richmond is bearing his soul using the classical as well as the jazz idiom, to do this he enlists the help of the cream of the West Coast's jazz elite. This is an impressive , if not majestic musical experience.