Artistry In Bolero
Capitol Records T167
Come Back To Sorrento - Arranged by Pete Rugolo
Scored with unusual ingenuity, this lovely Italian folk melody is presented as a showcase for Vido Musso and his big-toned tenor sax. Mood-provoking throughout, "Sorrento" is distinguished by an out-of-tempo introduction which leads into Musso's soulful solo designs, spectacularly climaxed by a forceful coda which finds him blowing a stirring concert G above high C, a note that any musician will confirm simply "ain't on the horn."
Just A-Sittin' And A-Rockin' - Arranged by Gene Roland
June Christy proves that jazz has room for two rocking' chair ladies. With the Kenton crew sitting right behind her. June opens up on this Ellington-Strayhorn-Gaines standard and sings the lonely story as it should be sung. She and all the boys rock slowly but solidly in the finest-swing tradition.
Fantasy - Arranged by Stan Kenton
Kicked off at bright tempo, this Kenton original is built around a sixteen-measure theme in which whole tones are emphasized; Stan's patent piano paces the proceedings, giving way to unison trumpets, a Musso tenor sax exhibition and an alto sax takeoff by Boots Mussulli, Bassist Sagranski, meanwhile, is plucking rich, resonant figures – and employing double stops – to pace the rhythm section's efforts. "Then it get heavy," Stan says, summing up the final portion, "with the bass screaming and everyone blowing up."
Opus In Pastels - Arranged by Stan Kenton
Composed and arranged by Kenton himself in 1941 when his band was first organized, "Opus In Pastels' is the only side in the album that is reminiscent of the early Kenton "Balboa Beach" style. No brass is employed; five saxophones carry the load throughout. Bob Gioga's deep baritone anchors the section a full two octaves below the sterling lead alto of Al Anthony. This was, originally, is Stan's words, "a sort of exercise for the reed." Richly melodic, its belated conceptions of the leader.
Soothe Me - Arranged by Pete Rugolo
A slow, bluesy Joe Greene composition, featuring June Christy on the vocal. She sings with her usual easy yet authoritative jazz style and the band remains subdued while accompanying her. When she stops for a breath, however, the band jumps in, bright and shinning, making the number a captivating two-tone affair.
Cocktails For Two - Arranged by Pete Rugolo
This popular favorite turns out to be a springboard with plenty of bounce. Stan himself leads off with a tasty piano solo, giving way to a pair of contrasting and well-matched trumpets – Chico Alvarez soaring into outer space with a big, bright tone, and Ray Wetzel dancing around nimbly behind his mute. A searching tenor sax solo by Vido Musso leads into an ensemble ending with the whole group swinging solidly home.
Artistry In Bolero - Arranged by Pete Rugolo
Sagranski's bass and Kenton's pianologies set the mood for an original Rugolo manuscript that is reminiscent of the Ravel "Bolero," On this, the entire orchestra participates with fever and enthusiasm, building to a dramatic finale following tasteful solo contributions by Vido Musso, tenor sax, and Kai Winding, trombone. Composer-arranger Rugolo has interwoven an exciting series of key changes with gradually-increasing dynamics.
Ain't No Misery In Me - Arranged by Gene Roland
Blonde June Christy paradoxically denies she has the blues by singing the blues – not the conventional twelve-bar variety, but a modern, sophisticated blues from the pen of Gene Roland. Winding's trombone and Boot Mussulli's alto sax rate the instrumental spots. A temp change that adds contrast to the indigo vocal introduction. Credit Buddy Childers with leading the powerful five-man trumpet sections on the climatic final chorus.
Safranski (Artistry In Bass) - Arranged by Pete Rugolo
Unquestionably one of the most popular and gifted string bassists, Eddi Safranski takes the solo spotting throughout this impressionistic opus – another of the Rugolo original compositions – blowing and plucking his instrument with a technique and skill that indicates why professional musicians rate him a virtuosos of the first magnitude. In his passages with Kenton at the piano this mastery is clearly evident.
Santa Lucia - Arranged by Pete Rugolo
Tenor sax man Vido Musso rides his reed from start to finish on this one. Beginning with a legit chorus of the old Italian favorite, Musso quickly takes off with some strictly non-Neapolitan noodling. The band is with him the whole way, providing a broad, solid background for his theme and variations.
Willow Weep For Me - Arranged by Pete Rugolo
There is a strong Debussy "feel" to the opening measures of this ballad, which originally attained wide popularity in the early 1930s. Eight measures of Kenton's solo piano, with Safranski's bass evident, have ebbs written by Rugolo in a two-bar train pattern, followed by muted trumpets and then trombones suggesting a doubling of tempo, all, of course, serve as inventive, unusual accompaniment for June Christy's uninhibited projection of the lyrics. Kai Winding's trombone anticipates a change of key and a return to the original piano bass figure.
Artistry In Percussion - Arranged by Pete Rugolo
Shelly Manne takes over on this, a Pete Rugolo original composition, following a Stravinsky-like orchestral introduction in which Rayh Wetzel's trumpet sets the melodic structure and paces a delicately-phrased Kai Winding solo trombone passage. Manne, employing three tom-toms as well as bass and snare drums, pounds a novel pattern, solo, against the intriguing tone colors of the full ensemble