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Contemporary Concepts [Extra tracks, Original recording remastered]

Stan KentonAudio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 2003 $14.19  
Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, 2003 --  
Vinyl --  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. What's NewStan Kenton 5:41$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Stella By StarlightStan Kenton 5:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. I've Got You Under My Skin (1955 Version)Stan Kenton 5:31$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. CherokeeStan Kenton 3:08$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Stompin' At The SavoyStan Kenton And His Orchestra 4:36$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. YesterdaysStan Kenton 5:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. LimelightStan Kenton 3:08$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Sunset TowerStan Kenton 3:14$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Opus In Chartreuse (24-Bit Remaster 03)Stan Kenton 2:36$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Opus In Turquoise (Instrumental) (2002 Digital Remaster)Stan Kenton And His Orchestra 2:56$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Opus In Beige (24-Bit Remaster 03)Stan Kenton 2:26$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Image of album by Stan Kenton


Image of Stan Kenton


In February of 1941, a relatively unknown bandleader by the name of Stan Kenton auditioned his orchestra at the Rendezvous Ballroom on Balboa Island, California, one of the area's most prestigious venues for big band jazz. Although the band had only been together for a few months, they were able to convince the club to give them a summer booking. They opened on the night of May 30, 1941 ... Read more in Amazon's Stan Kenton Store

Visit Amazon's Stan Kenton Store
for 203 albums, 4 photos, discussions, and more.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 20, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 1955
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • ASIN: B000093U3X
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,363 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

The 1955 classic from Stan's hardest-swinging band! Set drummer Mel Lewis and horn men Bill Perkins, Charlie Mariano, Sam Noto and Carl Fontana loose on Bill Holman's charts and you're guaranteed a ticket to bebop heaven. Comes with four bonus tracks, including two tunes-Kenton's Sunset Tower and Gene Roland's Opus in Chartreuse -from the album sessions.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kenton Swings! May 27, 2003
Format:Audio CD
As Michael Sparke points out in his excellent notes to the CD reissue of Contemporary Concepts, "every Kenton orchestra swung, but not all the time, and some more than others. By common consent, the swingingest of all was the band of 1955..."
It's hard to imagine how this band couldn't swing hard. Al Porcino was leading the trumpets, the rhythm section consisted of Ralph Blaze on guitar, Max Bennett on bass, and the incomparable Mel Lewis on drums, who simply wouldn't play if the music wasn't swinging. Plus there were heavyweight swinging soloists in every section - all the saxes, including Chsrlie Mariano, Lennie Niehaus and Bill Perkins; trombonist Carl Fontana (one of the all time trombone greats); plus trumpeters Sam Noto and Stu Williamson. This was a great band, one of Kenton's finest.
But the biggest factor in the swinging success of this album was the writing of Bill Holman (6 charts) and Gerry Mulligan (1 chart). Holman was on the Kenton arranging staff in the early to mid '50's and this music represents a creative peak in his career. What Holman does with the six standards he arranged for this album is not only swinging, but exceptionally creative and memorable. These charts are now considered classics of big band arranging. Three of them, "Stella by Starlight" (featuring Mariano), "Stompin' at the Savoy", and "Yesterdays" (featuring Perkins), remained in the book for the rest of Kenton's band leading career which ended in 1978. These charts, along with "What's New" are still performed by Kenton Alumni and Tribute bands. In addition Lennie Niehaus burns through "Cherokee", taking a back seat to no one in his interpretation of this tune. "I've Got You Under My Skin" is another intriguing Holman chart which features a parade of five soloists, beginning with baritonist Don Davidson.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Holy Grail of Kenton Albums June 9, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I've worn out two LPs of this classic album, and now I get to buy the CD version for my Kenton collection. Does it get any better? This is without a doubt the most swinging Kenton album of all, with the best arrangements every played by Stan's band. To own the recording of Bill Holman's arrangement of "Stompin' at the Savoy" is more than worth the price of the entire album. Throw in Holman's arrangement of "I've Got You Under My Skin" and you have, what many musicians believe, the two very best charts ever written for ANY big band! If you don't own this album you have GOT to get it. You will treasure it for the rest of your life. This album is truly the Holy Grail of Stan Kenton's Orchestra and perhaps of any big band that has ever played jazz!!!!!!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Release of an Outstanding Recording!! May 24, 2003
By Dubbie
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Stan Kenton has been such an under-rated talent for so long that it is a true shame.
His attention to a creative interpretation of music, along with his unique use of instrumentation and rhythm -- are beautifully heard on this album from the mid-1950s - now available - FINALLY on a professionally recorded audio CD.
Contemporary Concepts!! The man IS THE DEFINITION of contemporary, inventive, distinctive jazz, without ever wasting a note or a musical phrase.
He was ahead of his time then and this music can STILL hold its own with any "jazz recording of a standard". You have never heard these songs in THIS way.
I loved this record album when I was a kid. I made an audio cd of it a few years ago on my computer for my car stereo and still play it often.
NOW, it is finally available from one of the best names in jazz (Blue Note) and I am purchasing a copy today! I could not promise you a better listening experience and musical memory.
Buy this outstanding Kenton recording! You will not be sorry!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a band April 1, 2004
Format:Audio CD
This album is a classic. When I first heard the original LP 50 years ago, the arrangements blew me away. I was just a teenager but knew Kenton was a one of a kind leader. When I heard 'Yesterdays", I knew I heard something awesome. A friend of mine who didn't like Kenton admitted that Perkins solo on this was the best he had ever heard. It still is a classic. The whole album is intriguing and it doesn't get old. Holman and Mulligan were greats then and are giants now. What awesome jazz minds they were. I'm thrilled to have this on CD, even if it is MONO. The reproduction is excellent. It's worth buying and exploring the legendary Stan Kenton.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Contemporary Set of Standards Featuring ....... December 6, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
six arrangements by the renowned Bill Holman who still makes recordings with his own big band. This is big band bop at its best, playing standards that vary into themes within themes featuring excellent sidemen. From an earlier Kenton review I reiterate that you get your money's worth with Kenton with the full band sound featuring 5 trumpets, 5 saxes and 5 trombones. Over the history of the band, personnel came and went but the Kenton alumni reads like a Who's Who in Jazz. This band is no exception with such fine soloists as alto saxists Charlie Mariano and Lennie Niehaus, the tenor work of Bill Perkins, trombonist Carl Fontana and trumpeters Sam Noto and Stu Williamson..........and not the least of all the drumming of Mel Lewis pushing the band throughout the whole set.

I forgot to mention the seventh tune of the original album, "Limelight" was arranged by its composer, Gerry Mulligan. There are four bonus tracks on this cd, one composed by Kenton and the other three by Johnny Roland, another great Kenton arranger, are opuses devoted to the color spectrum.

Truly, it's hard to pick favorites and I can only give you a few impressions. "I've Got You Under My Skin" is totally different from the one on "Portraits On Standards" (1953). I was thrilled (no other adjective is sufficient) to have been fortunate to hear tenor man Bill Perkins perform live "Yesterdays", one of his best and most poignant solos. Finally, Capitol Records back in 1956, had a number of big bands under contract (contrarian to the times) including Les Brown, Stan Kenton, Billy May, Harry James, Ray Anthony and Woody Herman. They turned out a double LP titled, appropriately enough, "Dance To The Bands". That has never been re-released!.....
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Kenton At His Best
Virtuoso soloists, exciting big band sound!!!
Published 2 months ago by BRUCE B. CASSARA
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
How did he find all the great musicians.
Published 2 months ago by Richard C Hoban
5.0 out of 5 stars Kenton's best, but least typical.
Kenton's least typical and hardest swinging album. Great arrangements and solos. And Mel Lewis's drummer is what truly defines the album.
Published 6 months ago by G. Soucie
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Kenton (dispite the standards)
I defer to the previous reviewers who said it all so well. Though the material is hard to escape as "standard", the quality of arrangements and solos is trully first class. Read more
Published 22 months ago by William Wooding
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Kenton Album
I had just gotten into Kenton when this L.P. came out. I was blown away! Everything about it is great. I went to sleep by it on many a night. Read more
Published on May 19, 2011 by Real Buyer
5.0 out of 5 stars I've waited a long time for this one!
The reason this album is so close to me is that I saw this particular Stan Kenton band in person when I was in college. Nearing my 75th birthday I tend to nostalgia more often. Read more
Published on April 24, 2011 by Old Texan
5.0 out of 5 stars Bill Holman at his Best
At last the CD from this wonderfull 50 album. Great arrangements by my good friend Bill Holman. I met him last year and was surprised of his quality after 55 years working. Read more
Published on May 13, 2004 by H D. MEIJ
5.0 out of 5 stars more Kenton
KENTON FANS! If you liked this album, check out Pete Rugulo, Stephanie Nakasian and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, together on one stage! Read more
Published on September 29, 2003
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