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  • Sketches on Standards
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Sketches on Standards Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered


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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, April 23, 2002
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Sophisticated LadyStan Kenton 3:17$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Begin The BeguineStan Kenton 3:04$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Lover ManStan Kenton 2:49$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Pennies From HeavenStan Kenton 2:59$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Over The RainbowStan Kenton 3:03$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Fascinating RhythmStan Kenton 2:44$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. There's A Small HotelStan Kenton 2:44$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Shadow WaltzStan Kenton 2:35$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Harlem NocturneStan Kenton 3:09$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Stella By StarlightStan Kenton 3:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Dark EyesStan Kenton 2:14$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. MalaguenaStan Kenton 2:34$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. Spring Is Here (Instrumental) (2002 Digital Remaster)Stan Kenton And His Orchestra 3:22$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen14. I'm Glad There Is You (Instrumental) (2002 Digital Remaster)Stan Kenton And His Orchestra 4:14$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Biography

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

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Frequently Bought Together

Sketches on Standards + Portraits on Standards + Kenton in Hi Fi
Price for all three: $29.56

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 23, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • Run Time: 42 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000647MH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,220 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Nothing was ever "standard" when Kenton got a hold of it, not even the most familiar songs. This 1953 LP includes his reinventions of Sophisticated Lady; Begin the Beguine; Pennies from Heaven; Over the Rainbow; Fascinatin' Rhythm; Malaguena , and more. Features six bonus cuts and remastered sound!

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Kenton not only hired the best arrangers, but also the best musicians.
John Tapscott
Bill Russo arrangements, interesting voicing's and Maynard is playing lead trumpet, and George Roberts on bass trombone.
James E. Pileggi
Sound quality is excellent for 1953, however, and the tracks are well chosen.
Jon Warshawsky

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By John Tapscott on April 27, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Stan Kenton had a well-deserved reputation for being a musical progressive, but that was only part of his musical persona. Quite frankly, no big band covered the great American standards as well as Kenton's. The fourteen standards included here were recorded between early 1953 and early 1956, a peak period in Kenton's creative world. While these arrangements were part of the Kenton dance book, they are much more than just dance music, but stand up as superb listening music decades later. Each arrangement has great respect for the melodies, but uncovers and adds great depths which makes these tunes very memorable.

Kenton always hired the best arrangers and gave them great musical freedom, although you would never identify Kenton's band as anyone else's. The key arranger here is Bill Russo who contributes 7 arrangements, Kenton himself 3, Joe Coccia 2, Johnny Richards and Lennie Niehaus 1 each.
Kenton not only hired the best arrangers, but also the best musicians. Therefore, the band's performance is brilliant, and you get to hear superb soloists such as Conte Candoli on Pennies From Heaven, Lee Konitz on Lover Man, trombonist Bob Burgess on Over The Rainbow, and Frank Rosolino on Malaguena. Altoist Lennie Niehaus is sparkling form on I'm Glad There is You. Maynard Ferguson's brilliant high note work sparks Sophisticated Lady. The sound is clear and beautifully remastered, warm and clear. Every track is outstanding. Highly recommended.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Jon Warshawsky on July 17, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Another in the first rate series of collections of dance music that the Kenton band recorded in order to remain financially afloat even as its leader pushed the envelope when it came to innovation. Oddly, or perhaps not, these early arrangements (this set recorded in 1953) represent some of the most timeless of Stan Kenton's recordings. Sketches On Standards almost never shouts -- listen to the later Cuban Fire album for gale force brass and rhythm -- but nor does it sleepwalk.
A Latin-tinged 'Begin the Beguine' makes a rare and welcome appearance, arranged by Kenton himself, simply and effectively. Bill Russo's arrangement of 'Fascinatin' Rhythm' is a highlight, more complex and benefitting from Lee Konitz' always capable alto sax. 'There's a Small Hotel' is a nice slow dance number, and the list goes on.
Fans of the louder, leading edge Kenton may find this album quiet. Technically, it represents some very appealing, straightforward recordings of songs that showcase the talent of this group. Most welcome is that Kenton's own piano is not buried in the walls of sound so common to his later efforts.
If you are new to Stan Kenton, this might not be the place to start because there are other better known albums that overshadow Sketches on Standards. Sound quality is excellent for 1953, however, and the tracks are well chosen. For those times when you want to enjoy first rate jazz without necessarily waking up the neighborhood, it would be hard to argue with the current album.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James A. Vedda VINE VOICE on May 14, 2008
Format: Audio CD
It's amazing how a collaboration between talented arrangers and great players can bring new life to tunes we've heard at least a thousand times. Half of the 14 tracks in this collection were arranged by Bill Russo, the remainder being the work of notables such as Lennie Niehaus, Johnny Richards, and Kenton himself. Among the musicians in this all-star band are Maynard Ferguson, Conte Candoli, and Buddy Childers on trumpet; Lee Konitz, Bill Holman, Bob Cooper, Richie Kamuca, and Jimmy Giuffre on saxes; Frank Rosolino, Bob Burgess, and Carl Fontana on trombone; and Mel Lewis on drums. If you recognize all or most of these names, then you know the caliber of this recording. If you don't, it's time for you to be introduced to them.
Some highlights: a mellow "Sophisticated Lady" with nice solos and a bit of in-your-face brass; an arrangement of "Begin the Beguine" that will make you forget about the way Artie Shaw played it; "Lover Man" as a superb alto feature for Konitz; one of Candoli's best recorded solos in "Pennies From Heaven"; excellent solo and ensemble work in "Fascinatin' Rhythm"; a warm and tender "I'm Glad There Is You" with a gorgeous Niehaus alto solo; and Rosolino, brilliant as always, soloing on four tracks. Need I say more?
The original 1953 release was a 10-inch LP that included only the first eight tracks. Two of the six bonus tracks came from the same session, while the rest were recorded in 1955-56. The package includes a booklet with informative liner notes written for the CD release. The tracks are short, yielding a total time of only about 42 minutes, but you'll be impressed with how much big band enjoyment can be packed into three-quarters of an hour.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael W. Beegle on March 13, 2009
Format: Audio CD
This album was originally intended to be more commercial "dance music" by the Kenton band and it is that. But it is also a great collection of standard evergreens arranged by his best arrangers ever played by his best band ever. Conte Condoli, Buddy Childers and a very young Maynard Ferguson shine on trumpet, Frank Rosolino on trombone and Lee Konitz provides the musical gems one would expect from him on alto. Who says the Kenton band couldn't swing! That depends on who's on drums and who wrote the charts. On this album the drummer is Mel Lewis, the arrangers are Bill Russo and Bill Holman. This is a must have for Kenton fans along with it companion album "Portrait on Standards" with the same arrangers and for the most part the same personnel. Also a must for anyone that just loves great classic American music. I love this album both from a standpoint of beautiful memories of the days in my life it represents and for being just plain beautiful jazz.
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