Stan Kenton's early arrangements set the tone for his orchestra, but through the years, he generally farmed out the writing chores to other talented arrangers who could move the big band forward. However, he did arrange occasional ballad charts, and this 1958 album (reissued on CD in 1997) showcases Kenton's writing. The Ballad Style of Stan Kenton is an unusual set, for other than some muted trumpet, Kenton's melodic piano is the only soloist. The 13 ballads (a dozen standards and a band original) are given restrained treatments which hint at the band's power without overtly expressing it, and the music is both romantic and danceable. An underrated set.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow