Stan Kenton: An Esthete on Clark Street


An Esthete on Clark Street


Stan Kenton (piano)


The Concert in Miniature Broadcasts - 1952-1953 (Artistry CD-001)


Stan Kenton (piano), Bill Russo (trombone), Bob Burgess (trombone), Frank Rosolino (trombone),

Buddy Childers, Maynard Ferguson, Conte Candoli, Don Dennis, Ruben McFall (trumpets), Keith Moon, Bill Smiley (trombones), Vinnie Dean, Lee Konitz (alto saxes), Bill Holman, Richie Kamuca (tenor saxes), Bob Gioga (baritone sax), Sal Salvador (guitar), Don Bagley (bass), Stan Levey (drums)


Composed & arranged by Bill Russo


Recorded: live at the Hollywood Palladium, January 31, 1953

Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Bill Russo recorded this composition with his own orchestra for the Dee Gee label, and later created this setting for the Kenton ensemble. The piece reflects his study with Lennie Tristano, as it sounds like a written improvisation over a set chord sequence. If Bach had written for the Kentonians, this is probably what the result would sound like; this has a very baroque-classical feel with near-even eighth notes over Levey's metronome-like brushes (fellow Tristanoites Konitz and Warne Marsh would open up gigs by playing Bach Two-part Inventions). Later on, the band breaks out into counterpoint, which is beautifully balanced. In fact the entire track shows how the band could play with precision and the kind of contained excitement needed for much of Russo's writing during this era. Soloists are Russo, Burgess and Rosolino on this live performance. It is a pity that this piece was not commercially recorded by the Kenton Orchestra.

Reviewer: Jeff Sultanof

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