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Improvisation is playing around, and in music, it comes out as jazz. Stan Kenton was the leader of several progressive jazz bands in the 1940s and 1950s. Emotional, radical, unpredictable, and original are adjectives frequently used to describe his records. Kenton in Hi-Fi, recorded in 1956, is a good sampling of this sound with Kenton on piano and members of his various bands on saxophones, trombones, trumpets, guitars, and percussion. Included are two of Kenton's theme songs, "Artistry in Rhythm" and "Eager Beaver."



There is something about the art of Paul Klee that is positively ingratiating. We find ourselves smiling at an image, laughing at the accompanying title, giddy with the overall effect. A Child's Game conveys the delight of a young girl running through a garden with a goose. Genie Serving a Light Breakfast is a humorous ditty revealing Klee's idiosyncratic world of fantasy. Dance, You Monster, To My Soft Song! conveys the absurdity of a tiny pianist trying to direct an enormous floating balloon man. And in The Creator, the artist's playfulness even extends to how he imagines the Godhead — hovering in the pink cosmos with arms spread and garments flowing as if in a dance.


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