344

Stan Kenton: Kenton Showcase

By

Sign in to view read count
Stan Kenton: Kenton Showcase This re-release is composed of two Kenton albums from the 1950s showcasing the arrangements of Bill Russo and Bill Holman. Russo and Holman were more responsible for defining the Kenton sound than any other arrangers besides Kenton himself and Peter Rugolo. It is a testament to the greatest of Kenton's bands that they could acccomodate both the edgy intellectualism of Russo and the easy going swing of Holman at the same time.


One of Russo's best compositions, "Egdon Heath" (which is also found in New World Record's Anthology of Recorded American Music series), highlights the talents of trombonist Bob Fitzpatrick and the wonderful but woefully neglected alto saxophonist Davey Schildkraut. Conga legend Candido makes an appearance in Russo's "Bacante" while lead trumpeter Buddy Childers (who would also go on to play lead trumpet in the West Coast version of the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band) displays some great jazz chops in Russo's atypical swinger "Sweets."


The Holman charts feature Kenton's band at its most swinging, although there is much more harmonic and contrapuntal complexity to his writing than at first meets the ear. Three great alto saxophonists dominate Holman's arrangements: Davey Schildkraut, Charlie Mariano and Lee Konitz. Although Konitz's understated style would seem like a strange fit against the massive sound of the Kenton ensemble, he performs some of his best work here. Particularly impressive is Konitz's amazing display of technique in the hard driving "In Lighter Vein."


In listening to this album it becomes abundantly clear why the Stan Kenton Orchestra was the most popular big band of the post-war era and why it was musically one of the most important jazz groups of all time. Esoteric, swinging, playing in a dynamic range from triple fortissimo to triple piano, with virtuosic soloists and section work of symphonic calibre, the Kenton band had it all and still conntinues to be a powerful presence in jazz even twenty odd years after the death of its visionary leader.


Track Listing: A Theme of Four Values; A Study for Bass; Blues Before and After; Bacante; Thisbe; Egdon Heath; Sweets; Dusk; Bags; Hava Havana; Solo for Buddy; The Opener; Fearless Finlay; Theme and Variations; Kingfish; In Lighter Vein; Of All Things; Lover Man My Funny Valentine Bags (alternate take)

Personnel: Stan Kenton, piano; Don Bagley, bass; Buddy Childers, trumpet; Bob Fitzpatrick, trombone; Charlie Mariano, alto saxophone; Sam Noto, trumpet; Bill Perkins, tenor saxophone; Frank Rosolino, trombone; Dave Schildkraut, alto saxophone; Stu Williamson, trumpet; Candido Camero, conga; Milt Gold, trombone; Lee Konitz, alto saxophone; Bill Holman, arranger; Bill Russo, arranger

Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Capitol Records | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Cornua Copiae" CD/LP/Track Review Cornua Copiae
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "Intermetallic Compounds" CD/LP/Track Review Intermetallic Compounds
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 18, 2016
Read "Beauty Within" CD/LP/Track Review Beauty Within
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 1, 2016
Read "Escape  from The Unhappy Society" CD/LP/Track Review Escape from The Unhappy Society
by Anthony Shaw
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Rise Of Orion" CD/LP/Track Review Rise Of Orion
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Lingo" CD/LP/Track Review Lingo
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 10, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!