Stan Kenton: Tonight




Stan Kenton and His Orchestra


West Side Story (Capitol Jazz 29914)

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Stan Kenton (piano), Conte Candoli (trumpet), Larry Bunker (tympani),

Dalton Smith (trumpet), Bud Brisbois (trumpet), Larry McGuire (trumpet), Bob Rolfe (trumpet), Sanford Skinner (trumpet), Ernie Bernhart (trumpet), Dwight Carver (mellophonium), Gene Roland (mellophonium), Joe Burnett (mellophonium), Gordon Davison (mellophonium), Bob Fitzpatrick (trombone), Paul Heydorff (trombone), Jim Amlotte (bass trombone), Dave Wheeler (bass trombone), Clive Acker (tuba), Gave Baltazar (alto saxophone), Sam Donahue (tenor saxophone), Paul Renzi (tenor saxophone), Marvin Holladay (baritone saxophone), Wayne Dunstan (bass saxophone), Pete Chivily (bass), Jerry Lestock McKenzie (drums), Mike Pacheco (bongos), George Acevedo (congas)


Arranged by Johnny Richards. Composed by Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein


Recorded: Goldwyn Studio, Hollywood, CA, March 15, 1961


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Kenton’s ultra-slow ballad style featuring piano and trombones was one of his trademarks, resulting in one or two hit singles, but here it appears with a difference. His “New Era in Modern American Music” ensemble of the early 1960s featured four mellophoniums to provide a French-horn-type section sandwiched in between the trumpets and trombones. Richards’s setting is lyrical and rich in warm yet powerful sound. Kenton’s piano is the main solo voice, but there is a muted improvisation by Conte Candoli. The score to West Side Story was perfect for this ensemble, and the album won a Grammy Award.

Reviewer: Jeff Sultanof


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