Stan Kenton

Portraits on Standards

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Portraits on Standards Review

by Scott Yanow

While most of Stan Kenton's recordings in the 1950s tend to be complex and sometimes bombastic, his versions of standards could often be sentimental and very melodic. This LP from the Creative World catalog (music originally released by Capitol) alternates between ballads and boppish romps, mostly featuring the 1953-1954 orchestra, a band that could often swing hard. With such major soloists as altoist Art Pepper (featured on "Street of Dreams"), trumpeter Conte Candoli, Zoot Sims on tenor, altoist Lee Konitz, and trombonist Frank Rosolino, Kenton's orchestra could hold its own with any big band of the period. The arrangements (all by either Bill Russo or Kenton) showcase these talents at their best.

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