Bill Russo

Full name William Joseph Russo
Born 25 June 1928, Chicago, Illinois
Died 11 January 2003, Chicago, Illinois
Principle instrument trombone
Kenton sideman yes, 1950-1954

Fascinating Rhythm
Egdon Heath

The latter half of the 1940s found the Kenton band winning major awards from jazz magazines for the band, the soloists and the writers, while at the same time moving further from the mainstream of jazz. As the band moved into the 1950s another classically aware composer would take over the reigns from Rugolo in defining the Kenton sound: Bill Russo. Remaining with the band for only four years, he left behind a legacy of quality progressive music. read more…

From the article, New Concepts of Bill Russo, by Terry Vosbein. Presented at the IAJE International Conference, Long Beach, California, January 2002.

Click a cover for more details

New Concepts (1952)

Sketches on Standards (1953)

Portraits on Standards (1953)

Kenton Showcase (1954)

Arrangements & compositions created for Kenton

* indicates original composition

23 Degrees North - 82 Degrees West * (aka Cuban Night  and A Modernist In Cuba) (1952)
Adios (1952) Jerri Winters vocal
Adios (1953) (rescored sans vocal) featuring Sal Salvador
All About Ronnie (1953) Chris Connor vocal
Altonality * (1954) Festival Tour - featuring Lee Konitz, Charlie Mariano, Dave Schildkraut, & Charlie Parker
And the Bull Walked Around, Olay (1953) Chris Connor vocal
April In Paris (1953)
Autumn in New York (1952) featuring Buddy Childers
Autumn in New York (1953) featuring Buddy Childers

Bacante * (1953) Festival Tour - featuring Candido
Baia (1953) Chris Connor vocal
Bill’s Blues * (1952)
Blues - Before & After * (1953)
Body and Soul (1952) featuring Frank Rosolino

CC * (195?) featuring Conte Candoli 
Childers No. 1 * (1953) featuring Buddy Childers
Crazy Rhythm (1953)
The Creep (1953)

Darn That Dream (1952) Kay Brown vocal
Dusk * (1954)

East of the Sun (1952)
Easy to Love (1952)
Egdon Heath * (1954)
Ennui* (1951) Innovations - featuring Harry Betts 
Ennui* (1952) Dance band - featuring Bill Russo
An Esthete on Clark Street * (1952)
Everything Happens to Me (1952) Helen Carr vocal

Fascinating Rhythm (1953)
Forbidden Games * (1953) Festival Tour - featuring Stan Getz
Frank Speaking * (aka Happy Talk) (1952) featuring Frank Rosolino
From This Moment On (1954) Festival Tour June Christy vocal

Gazelle * (1953)
Gloomy Sunday (1951) Innovations - June Christy vocal
Gone with the Wind (1953) featuring Sal Salvador
Gregory Bemko * (aka Cello Piece) (1951) Innovations - featuring Gregory Bemko

Halls of Brass * (1950) Innovations 
Harlem Nocturne (1953)
How High the Moon (1953)

I Can’t Get Started (1952) Kay Brown vocal
I Get a Kick Out of You (1952) Kay Brown vocal
I Get a Kick Out of You (1953) Chris Connor vocal
I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good (1952) featuring Frank Rosolino
I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues (Oct. 1952) Frank Rosolino vocal
I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues (Dec. 1952) Frank Rosolino vocal
I’ll Remember April (1953) Chris Connor vocal
I’ve Got You Under My Skin (1953)
If I Should Lose You (1952) Kay Brown vocal
Improvisation * (1951) Innovations
Improvisation * (1952) Dance band - featuring Lee Konitz
In Memoriam * (Requiem) (1966) 9-piece chorus led by Jimmy Joyce vocal - Neophonic
It Don’t Mean a Thing (1952) Frank Rosolino vocal
It’s the Talk of the Town (1952) featuring Richie Kamuca, later Zoot Sims

Jeepers Creepers (1952) Kay Brown vocal
Just You, Just Me (1953)

Love Me or Leave Me (1952)
Love Me or Leave Me (1953) Chris Connor vocal
Lover (1951) Innovations June Christy vocal
Lover, Come Back to Me (1953) Festival Tour featuring Stan Getz
Lover Man (1952) featuring Lee Konitz
Lullaby of Birdland (1953)

Moonlight in Vermont (1952)
My Heart Stood Still (1953)
My Lady * (1952) featuring Lee Konitz

The Nearness of You (1952) featuring Buddy Childers
Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen (1953) Chris Connor vocal
No Moon at All (1953) Festival Tour - June Christy vocal

One for My Baby (1951) Innovations - June Christy vocal
Over the Rainbow (1952) featuring Bob Burgess

Pennies from Heaven (1953) Frank Rosolino vocal
Pink Evil * (1953) featuring Maynard Ferguson
Poached Eyes on Ghost * (1951) Innovations
Poem for Trumpet * (1953) featuring Conte Candoli
Portrait of A Count * (1952) featuring Conte Candoli
Purple Hyacinth * (1953) Festival Tour
Pyramus and Thisbe* (1950) Innovations

Reverie (1953)
Robbin’s Nest (1952)
Rockin’ Chair (1952)
Rockin’ Chair (1952) Frank Rosolino vocal

Shadow Waltz (1953)
Sketch * (A Mood) (195?)
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (1950)
Solitaire * (aka Falstaff) (1950) Innovations - featuring Milt Bernhart
Solitaire * (aka Falstaff) (1952) Dance band - featuring Bob Burgess
Solitude (195?)
Somebody Loves Me (1953)
Sophisticated Lady (1952)
Study for Bass * (1953) featuring Don Bagley
Sweets * (1952)
Sweets * (1953)
‘S Wonderful (1953) featuring Ernie Royal, later Don Dennis

Tenderly (1952) Jerri Winters vocal
That Old Feeling (1952)
A Theme of Four Values * (1953)
There’s a Small Hotel (1952)
There Will Never Be Another You (1952) Jerri Winters vocal
These Foolish Things (1952) featuring Bill Holman
Thisbe * (1954)

Untitled Original * (1950) Innovations
Untitled Original * (1952)
Untitled Original * (1952)
Untitled Original * (1953)
Untitled Original * (1953)

Vignette * (1953)

What’s New (1953) Chris Connor vocal
Where or When (195?) featuring Lee Konitz & Buddy Childers
Without Wings * (1951) Innovations - featuring Bob Fitzpatrick

You and the Night and the Music (1953)
You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To (1953)
You Go to My Head (1953) featuring Lee Konitz
Young Sebastian * (1950) Innovations

Zoot Sims * (1953) featuring Zoot Sims

Thanks to Kenton scholar/author Michael Sparke for his meticulous assistance in making this list as accurate as possible.