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Portraits on Standards
Stan Kenton
Portraits on Standards
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1

After a series of groundbreaking albums of adventurous new music, Stan Kenton took his band into the studio on July 8, 1953 to cut a 10" album of standards, uniquely arranged by Bill Russo,. "Portraits On Standards" proved...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Stan Kenton
Title: Portraits on Standards
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Blue Note Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/1953
Re-Release Date: 6/5/2001
Album Type: Original recording remastered
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Styles: Swing Jazz, Traditional Jazz & Ragtime, Orchestral Jazz, Easy Listening, Oldies, Traditional Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 724353157128, 0724353157159, 090204073948


Album Description
After a series of groundbreaking albums of adventurous new music, Stan Kenton took his band into the studio on July 8, 1953 to cut a 10" album of standards, uniquely arranged by Bill Russo,. "Portraits On Standards" proved a great success and re-enforced Kenton's jazz credentials. With soloists like Lee Konitz,, Zoot Sims, Conte Candoli, Frank Rosolino and Sal Salvador, the band swung like mad. Added to the original 10" LP are 7 more standards from the period arranged by Kenton with soloists Art Pepper, Bud Shank and Laurindo Almeida.

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CD Reviews

Some First Rate Early 1950's Kenton
comtad | 07/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This set features all of the original 1953 "Portraits On Standards" album, several tunes from the 1954 "Sketches On Standards" and some others, recorded around the same time. There is no indication that any alternate takes exist. This cd re-issue is particularly welcome with its complete player personnel listing for each tune as well as a delineation of the soloists and recording dates. Additionally, there are abundant and interesting liner notes describing the tunes and featuring quotes from arranger, Bill Russo and trumpeter, Conte Candoli among others. None of this information was available on the original lp's.Many of you reading this review are already familiar with the musical program. The first 9 tunes are, to me, the most compelling, featuring outstanding solos by Zoot Sims, Conte Candoli and Lee Konitz, among others. They were arranged by Bill Russo and are both atmospheric and driving. The final six tunes were arranged by Kenton. While not necessarily as interesting as the Russo efforts, Kenton's arrangements are still every good and carry the distinctive Kenton style.As is becoming so prevalent nowadays, the selections were re-mastered using 24 bit mapping. Whatever that entails, it has resulted in decidedly clearer sound than the original vinyl, not withstanding the age of the master tapes. The soloists seem to jump out and sound as if they're in the same room with you.In summation, this excellent and somewhat overdue Michael Cuscuna-produced re-issue is a must have for Kenton fans (such as me) and highly rewarding for anyone interested in progressive, influential 1950's big band jazz."
Where has this one been?
Jon Warshawsky | San Diego, CA USA | 04/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I had never owned the LP version of 'Portraits' and bought this as part of a 'buy two for a better price' deal -- and I have listened to it repeatedly. The soloists are characterstically superb and the arrangement interesting enough to add new interest to songs of which any big band fan owns multiples.While Kenton's band always delivers on the hard swinging numbers (Crazy Rhythm is a standout -- nice Lee Konitz solo), the slower pieces fare unusually well here. 'Street of Dreams' and 'Don't Take Your Love from Me' (superb Bud Shank solo) are mellow and sentimental without sleepwalking. Chris Connor on 'Baia' is a unique treat -- using her vocals in the best instrumental tradition.'Autumn in New York', always a great tune, features a smooth trumpet by Buddy Childers that makes this version something special. The balance of the collection more than holds its own.Why did Capitol wait until 2001 to reissue this? Probably because there are a dozen Kenton albums that are better known. While this would not be the first album I'd recommend to those seeking an introduction to Stan Kenton, it is an elegantly played selection of timeless songs -- and 'Portraits' is likely to appeal to those who are not particularly enamored by the Latin-inspired (and excellent) Johnny Richards recordings (Cuban Fire) or the later mellophonium orchestra."
Can't add anything to the other reviews...
Jonathan M. Mason | Punta Gorda, FL USA | 04/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This CD has been extremely well reviewed already, so there is really nothing to add, except another opinion that this is a five star album. Every track is delightful.

If I have a criticism of the Kenton band in general, it is that much of their output is probably better heard live or in concert than at home or in the office on CD. At times Kenton likes to get out the brass knuckles and hit you over the head with a barrage of sound. This does not apply to this album, which is delightfully mellow and relaxed and guaranteed NOT to give you a headache."