10 tracks: Niehaus and Brass

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With the recent passing of alto saxophonist and arranger-composer Lennie Niehaus, I spent yesterday listening to his Stan Kenton and sideman sessions and arrangements. During this period, Lennie used a wonderful device on uptempo arrangements, opening with a heavy, dark riff and then cutting the cord and letting the song float into bright swing. On ballads, he used an effective inhale-exhale style that slowed the heart and captured the ear.

Here are 10 brassy Lennie Niehaus arrangements:

Here’s one of Lennie’s earliest arrangements for Stan Kenton—Solo for Alto, originally written for Lee Konitz. But on the road in October 1952, Lee became a new father and was at home; Lennie was in the Army. So Boots Mussulli played the solo on baritone saxophone. Move the time bar to 4:09…

Here’s Lennie’s arrangement for Kenton of Pennies From Heaven in 1953…

Here’s Lennie’s arrangement of Backlash for Duane Tatro’s Jazz for Moderns in September 1954…

Here’s Lennie’s arrangement of his composition Make the Most of It for the Hollywood Saxophone Quartet in September 1955…

Here’s Lennie’s arrangement of Baubles, Bangles and Beads on Kenton’s The Stage Door Swings in September 1958…

Here’s Lennie’s arrangement of Hey There, from the same album…

Here’s Lennie’s arrangement of On the Street Where You Live from the same album…

Here’s Lennie’s arrangement and solo on The End of a Love Affair, from Kenton’s At the Las Vegas Tropicana in February 1959, opening with just bass and alto…

Here’s Lennie’s arrangement of You Stepped Out of a Dream from Kenton’s Sophisticated Approach, in July 1961…

And here’s Lennie’s arrangement of Time After Time from the same album…

      

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