Exploring New Sounds
Fresh Sound presents a double barrel, double-disc compilation loaded with four stunning instrumental concept albums recorded in Hollywood during the years 1957, 1960 and 1961 by ex-Stan Kenton arranger and composer Pete Rugolo. Born in San Piero Patti, Sicily on December 24, 1915 and raised in Santa Rosa, CA, Rugolo studied with Darius Milhaud and (like young Frank Zappa) was influenced by Igor Stravinsky. He would become somewhat notorious during the late '40s and early '50s as Kenton's designer of challenging and futuristic band charts. During the late '50s, he worked as staff arranger for Capitol, was involved with musicals at MGM, and then came into his own as music director for Mercury Records. Opening with the bombastically bongo-ridden Capitol album "Percussion at Work," Fresh Sound's titillating tour of mannered modernity follows Rugolo's quirky imagination through three deliberately formulated Mercury Perfect Presence Sound albums: Ten Trombones Like Two Pianos, Ten Trumpets and Two Guitars and Ten Saxophones and Two Basses. Featured players include percussionists Shelly Manne, Mel Lewis, Larry Bunker and Jack Costanzo; trombonists Frank Rosolino, Joe Howard, Milt Bernhart and Kenny Shroyer; trumpeters Manny Klein and Pete and Conte Candoli; saxophonists Bud Shank and Buddy Collette; pianists André Previn, Russ Freeman and Jimmy Rowles; guitarists Howard Roberts, Laurindo Almeida and Al Viola as well as bassists Red Mitchell and Joe Mondragon. Repertoire ranges from mainstream pop and jazz standards through classic jazz and antiquated traditional fare to cooled bop and of course Rugolo's own patented brand of modernistic chamber jazz informed as much by 20th century European innovators as by the persistently theatrical, often aggressively posed productions of Stan Kenton. Small wonder Rugolo went directly from this kind of work to composing film scores and crafting dynamic themes for TV shows such as "Run for Your Life," "The Fugitive," "Richard Diamond, Private Detective," "The Stranger," "Felony Squad," "Lie Detector" and "The Bold Ones." This action-packed anthology is ideal for highway driving, retro-lounging, medicated housework and buffet snacking.