Introducing Pete Rugolo

Pete Rugolo

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Introducing Pete Rugolo Review

by Scott Yanow

During 1954-55, arranger Pete Rugolo (who had come to fame for his work with Stan Kenton) recorded his first sessions as a leader. Most of the results -- all but six titles, which came out on a Harmony album -- were released in scattered form on three Columbia LPs, including Adventures in Rhythm and Rugolomania. The series was among the finest of Rugolo's career. This particular album finds him utilizing a big band filled with top studio and West Coast jazz players, which is strangely unidentified on the back cover. The emphasis is on arranged ensembles; among the more memorable selections are "Early Stan" (which does indeed sound like the early Stan Kenton Orchestra), "California Melodies," "360 Special," "Come Back Little Rocket," the humorous "Sidewalks of New York Mambo" and "Manana." Hopefully, all three of the long-out-of-print Columbia LPs will be reissued in coherent form on CDs.