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Friday, July 22, 2022

Sounds And Songs - The Al Belletto Sextet


March, Jazz And Fugue

Little Girl Blue

Kenton Presents Jazz
Sounds And Songs
The Al Belletto Sextet
Capitol Records T6514


Al Belletto - Alto Sax & Clarinet
Danny Conn - Trumpet, Mellophone & Bass
Fred Crane - Piano & Baritone Sax
Skip Fawcett - Bass
Jimmy Guinn - Trombone & Featured Singer
Charles McKnight - Drums
Jack Martin replaces Conn on Russ Job, I Got It Bad, Jeepers Creeper, Sorry, Gone Number

Handwritten notation by Al Belletto from the back cover: "Mom, you're the greatest, if St. Louis had four more people like you it would be the most swinging city in the country. Thanks for having me out to the house and lost of good wishes to you, Gean, Tommy and Jazz. Sincerely - Al Belletto"

From the back cover: The new jazz idiom has had more than its share of new organizations that flash quickly over the musical horizon and then die out because the basic spark is lacking. All have been accompanied by boasts, claims, and superlatives. But here, without fanfare, Stan Kenton presents the "Sounds and Songs" of the Al Belletto Sextet and lets rhythm rather than rhetoric illuminate the niche that this exciting new group has carved out for itself in a remarkable short time.

To followers of the idiom around the country, the Al Belletto group needs no introduction. It has achieved noteworthy success in such key jazz spots as Chicago's Blue Note and Hollywood's Crescendo, and won quick return engagements in places like the White Pub in Milwaukee, the Blue Mirror in Washington, and the Frolics in Columbus. Here, on records, is captured the flavor and appeal of the fastest-rising combination in the musical world.

When originally discovered by Stan Kenton, the Belletto organization was a quintet, distinguished by the fact that most of its members played more than one instrument with equal facility. It has now been expanded to a sextet because in the original combination the bass was being swapped too frequently, and the outfit's driving arrangements require a constant in the rhythm backing.

There is a unusual versatility in the organization that is readily evident in the pulsing arrangements. Each of it members is a singer as well as an instrumentalist and the group's effective arrangements make an excellent use of these voices for some fine choral sounds that augment the instrumentations. Three of the group contribute to the arrangements, although much of the work is still done by Jack Martin, a member of the original quintet who was forced out of the playing participation by illness. And Belletto, who is a composer and arranger as well as an acknowledged virtuoso on the alto sax and clarinet, holds a Master's Degree in Music from Louisiana State University.

Russ Job
You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good
Make Her Mine
March, Jazz And Fugue
Jeepers Creepers
I Was The Last One To Know
Little Girl Blue
Sorry, Gone Number

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