Pete Rugolo – 10 Saxophones and 2 Basses

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10 Saxophones and 2 Basses is an album by composer, arranger and conductor Pete Rugolo featuring performances recorded in 1961 and first released on the Mercury label as part of its audiophile Perfect Presence Sound Series.

AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf:
The third installment in what has since been regarded as Pete Rugolo’s trilogy of Mercury Perfect Presence Sound albums, Ten Saxophones and Two Basses was recorded in Hollywood on November 8, 9 and 10, 1961. At least as captivating as Ten Trombones Like Two Pianos and Ten Trumpets and Two Guitars, this sax ensemble with rhythm accompaniment comes across marvelously, with Bud Shank and Buddy Collette sounding especially fine. The repertoire used here is as wildly and refreshingly diverse as anything Rugolo ever dreamt up, ranging from a frantic slaphappy rendition of Rudy Wiedoeft’s “Saxophobia” (featuring Russ Cheever on C Melody saxophone) and a silly sendup of Guy Lombardo, Freddy Martin and Billy May to dignified realizations of “Sophisticated Lady,” “How High the Moon/Ornithology” and “Sometimes I’m Happy.” Rugolo’s ensemble works wonders with Jimmy Dorsey’s “Contrasts,” Jimmy Giuffre’s “Four Brothers,” Charlie Barnet’s “Skyliner,” “Holiday for Strings” and “Come Back to Sorrento” (featuring tenor soloists Bob Cooper and Plas Johnson). Performed without the saxes, “Two Funky Basses” is the coolest — and warmest — track of all. This excellent music was reissued in 2007 by Fresh Sound on Rugolo’s Exploring New Sounds (

Track listing:
“Skyliner” (Charlie Barnet) – 3:15
“Sophisticated Lady” (Duke Ellington, Mitchell Parish, Irving Mills) – 4:33
“How High the Moon” (Morgan Lewis, Nancy Hamilton) – 1:44
“Saxophobia” (Rudy Wiedoeft) – 2:02
“Holiday for Strings” (David Rose) – 2:43
“Reed Rapture” (Stan Kenton) – 2:52
“Sometimes I’m Happy” (Vincent Youmans, Irving Caesar) – 3:08
“Contrasts” (Jimmy Dorsey) – 3:03
“Medley: Four Brothers/Early Autumn” (Jimmy Guiffre/Ralph Burns, Woody Herman, Johnny Mercer) – 3:32
“Come Back to Sorrento” (Ernesto De Curtis) – 3:02
“Guy Meets Freddie Meets Billy” (Pete Rugolo) – 2:06
“Funky Basses” (Rugolo) – 2:03
Recorded at United Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA on November 8, 1961 (tracks 1-4, 6, 7, 9 & 11), and November 9, 1961 (tracks 5, 8, 10 & 12).

Pete Rugolo – arranger, conductor
Russ Cheever – soprano saxophone, C melody saxophone (tracks 1-11)
Gus Bivona, Skeets Herfurt, Bud Shank – alto saxophone (tracks 1-11)
Gene Cipriano, Bob Cooper, Plas Johnson – tenor saxophone (tracks 1-11)
Bill Perkins – tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone (tracks 1-11)
Chuck Gentry, Bill Hood – baritone saxophone, bass saxophone (tracks 1-11)
Jimmy Rowles – piano
Howard Roberts – guitar, banjo
Red Mitchell, Joe Mondragon – bass
Shelly Manne – drums


Released: 1962
Recorded: November 8 & 9, 1961
United Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA
Label: Mercury
PPS 2023/PPS 6023
Producer: David Carroll