291

Stan Kenton: Contemporary Concepts

By

Sign in to view read count
Stan Kenton: Contemporary Concepts Here's your trivia question for today: Who was the third man to be elected to Downbeat Magazine's Hall of Fame, the year before Duke Ellington? You guessed right if you said Stan Kenton.

Contemporary Concepts was recorded in July of 1955, and it offers six standards arranged by Bill Holman and one by Gerry Mulligan. The Mulligan chart, "Limelight," is easily recognizable and prefigures his work for his Concert Jazz Band five years later.

There is no room for a canary on any of Holman's six works. In each case, the melody is strongly hinted at with brief passages quoted from time to time. The solos by Bill Perkins (particularly on "Yesterdays"), Charlie Mariano, Lennie Niehaus and Carl Fontana (among others) are uniformly excellent. (As I write, the world mourns the recent passing of Bill Perkins.) Most noteworthy, however, is the propulsion provided by the arrangements and by the drumming of Mel Lewis. This brassy, swinging sound was borrowed eleven years later by Buddy Rich's Pacific Jazz band.

Four bonus tracks are unnecessary but welcome additions. The first, "Sunset Tower," was arranged by Stan Kenton and is reminiscent of his forties sound. The liner notes call it a reworking of his 1950 "Something New." The final three tracks were arranged by Gene Roland in the attempt to provide Stan with a radio hit. The smooth sound of these is a clear forerunner of Henry Mancini's 1959 Peter Gunn soundtrack.

This is not an album for the casual listener. Holman's charts are too thought-provoking. But those who already consider themselves jazz fans – not to mention Kenton fans – will quite likely find Contemporary Concepts a delightful treat.


Track Listing: 1. What's New 2. Stella By Starlight 3. I've Got You Under My Skin 4. Cherokee 5. Stompin' at the Savoy 6. Yesterdays 7. Limelight 8. Sunset Tower 9. Opus in Chartreuse 10. Opus in Turquoise 11. Opus in Beige

Personnel: Al Porcino, Sam Noto, Stu Williamson, Bob Clark (trumpets); Bob Fitzpatrick, Carl Fontana, Gus Chappell, Kent Larsen (trombones); Don Kelly (bass trombone); Bill Perkins, Dave Van Kriedt (tenor saxophones); Don Davidson (baritone saxophone); Stan Kenton (piano); Max Bennett (bass); Mel Lewis (drums).

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Capitol Records | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Navigation Without Numbers" CD/LP/Track Review Navigation Without Numbers
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 3, 2016
Read "When You Wish Upon a Star" CD/LP/Track Review When You Wish Upon a Star
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 19, 2016
Read "El Toro" CD/LP/Track Review El Toro
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 20, 2016
Read "Summer Skyshift" CD/LP/Track Review Summer Skyshift
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Ida Lupino" CD/LP/Track Review Ida Lupino
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!