All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

334

Stan Kenton: Adventures in Blues

By

Sign in to view read count
This is one of the best albums made by the mellophonium band of Stan Kenton, which featured a complete section of mellophoniums (an instrument somewhere between a French horn and a flugelhorn), in addition to the usual components of trumpets, trombones, saxophones and rhythm. This may be the most swinging of all of Kenton's albums because the arrangements were done by Gene Roland, the most consistently swinging of all of the great arrangers who honed their talents writing for the Kenton juggernaut. Although the blues play a connection in most of the charts recorded here, the album could have been more accurately titled "Adventures in Riffs" since all of Roland's arrangements are riff-based tunes well within the Basie tradition.

In addition to being a great arranger, Roland was also an outstanding instrumentalist, and we get to hear him on this album soloing on both mellophonium and soprano sax. "Reuben's Blues," based on the old children's song "Reuben, Reuben," was a staple of the Kenton library for a number of years and this recording is the best version of that arrangement and features the haunting soprano sax of Roland. Marv Stamm is shown to great effect in several muted solos, none more engaging than that on "Blue Ghost," a piece dedicated to a mysterious woman who always showed up whenever the Kenton ensemble played in Ohio and who always wore a blue dress. Although not on this album, another chart from the Kenton library, "Design for Blue," had a similar dedication.

"Night at the Gold Nugget" is a medium tempo swing chart, and it's the most Basie-like of all the compositions ever recorded by Kenton. It is also unusual in that the saxophones actually use vibrato, something that was almost non-existent after the "Artistry in Rhythm" days of the 1940s. A real roof raiser is "Fitz," a work featuring the blazing trombone of Bob Fitzpatrick, one of a long line of Kenton virtuoso trombonists.

As bonus items in this CD reissue, Roland's "Ten Bars Ago" and Kenton's own "Lady Luck" also appear here. Neither tune is a major work, but they are interesting because they sound like two versions of the same composition. This points out the fact that not only was Stan Kenton a visionary bandleader, but an influential composer/arranger as well. Adventures in Blues is a great album and gives conslusive proof that when the music called for it, the Stan Kenton Orchestra could swing with the best of them.


Track Listing: Reuben's Blues; Dragonwyck; Blue Ghost; Exit Stage Left; Night at the Gold Nugget; Formula SK-32; Aphrodisia; Fitz; Blues Story; Night at the Gold Nugget (alternate take); Ten Bars Ago; Lady Luck

Personnel: Jerry Lestock McKenzie, drums; Bud Parker, trombone; Albert Pollan, tuba; Paul Renzi, tenor sax; Bob Rolfe, trumpet; Carl Saunders, mellophonium; Pat Senatore, bass; Dalton Smith, trumpet; Ray Starling, mellophonium; Dave Wheeler, trombone; Dick Hyde, trombone; Art Anton, drums; Ray Sikora, trombone; Bill Horan, mellophonium; Tom Wirtel, mellophonium; Steve Huffsteter, trumpet; Jack Spurlock, trombone; Buddy Arnold, tenor sax; Jim Amlotte, trombone; Norman Baltazar, trumpet; Dee Barton, trombone; Bob Behrendt, trumpet; Allan Beutler, baritone sax; Joe Burnett, mellophonium; Dwight Carver, mellophonium; Pete Chivily, bass; Wayne Dunstan, baritone & bass saxes; Bob Fitzpatrick, trombone; Joel Kaye, bass sax; Bobby Knight, trombone; Stan Kenton, piano; Red Mitchell, bass; Marvin Stamm, trumpet; Gabe Baltazar, alto sax; Sam Donahue, tenor sax; Gene Roland, mellophonium, soprano sax

Title: Adventures in Blues | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Capitol Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Fearless And Kind CD/LP/Track Review
Fearless And Kind
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read 25th Anniversary Project CD/LP/Track Review
25th Anniversary Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Any Day Now CD/LP/Track Review
Any Day Now
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Adrift CD/LP/Track Review
Adrift
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Folkjazz from Finland CD/LP/Track Review
Folkjazz from Finland
by Anthony Shaw
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Circulate Susanna CD/LP/Track Review
Circulate Susanna
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 13, 2018
Read "Tell Me The Truth" CD/LP/Track Review Tell Me The Truth
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 20, 2018
Read "Pulse/Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read "Ghost Music" CD/LP/Track Review Ghost Music
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 30, 2018
Read "Crazy Lights Shining" CD/LP/Track Review Crazy Lights Shining
by Gareth Thompson
Published: June 2, 2018
Read "Master Legacy Series, Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review Master Legacy Series, Volume 2
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: February 8, 2018
Read "Origin Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Origin Suite
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 5, 2018