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MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

The Magnificent Thad Jones – Blue Note 1527

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Man does not live by hard bop alone, even on Blue Note. Sometimes, you just got to have a ballad. When you're in the mood, this is the record for you. Thad Jones provides the horn, and he has never been better. Jones is best known as co-leader of the big band that bore his name, but this 1956 recording is his break-out moment as both a small-group leader and trumpeter. And while you may think of Jones as a hard bopper, five of this CD's seven tracks are either ballads or slow blues numbers. Add ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Thad Jones: Detroit-New York Junction – Blue Note 1513

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Before he became famous as the leader of a big band, Thad Jones was a trumpet player, and a damn good one. In 1956, Jones led his first jazz group. It was a small sextet--unlike his later, more celebrated ensemble, co-led by Mel Lewis. This short album, which chronicles that session, has only five songs and runs just 34 minutes. There are no alternate takes. It's a pleasant album, but not a great one. There is nothing innovative here, or particularly memorable. Jones has a nice tone and decent chops, but he won't make you forget ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Thad Jones: The Danish Radio Big Band & Eclipse

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US trumpeter, composer and arranger Thad Jones remains by and large unknown in his homeland but has had a street named after him in Copenhagen. Jones became a household name in the Danish capital as leader of the Danish Radio Big Band from 1976-85. Brother of pianist Hank and drummer Elvin, Thad Jones sought refuge in Denmark after the break-up of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra for whom he penned the monumental Suite for Pops (A&M Horizon), a tribute to Louis Armstrong. Jones was always a cut above the average. In 1961, as ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Thad Jones: The Magnificent Thad Jones

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Trumpeter Thad Jones' greatest notoriety was as a member and leader of large ensembles, including the Count Basie Orchestra and later the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. But as great as his big band work was, it's a shame he didn't dedicate more time to small combos. He recorded a handful of really first-rate dates for Blue Note in the mid-1950s--chief among them, perhaps, 1956's The Magnificent Thad Jones. It's timeless music that reveals a musician with great chops, fine composing and arranging skills, and a serious understanding of the blues. “April In Paris" sets the mood for ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Various Artists: One More: The Summary - Music of Thad Jones, Vol. 2

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This tribute to Thad Jones' music is not only equal to Volume One (One More) but eclipses it, proving a worthy candidate for jazz album of the year 2007. One of the differences is Eddie Daniels, whose inviting solo on “Little Pixie" introduces a session that's as free-spirited as it is respectful of its inspirational source.

I can remember when jazz followers marveled at the patience of Jones playing second trumpet night after night in the Count Basie Band, forfeiting most of the limited solo space to Joe Newman. It's ironic that this magnificent musician no doubt was the last ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Thad Jones-Mel Lewis: Consummation

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When it came to progressive big bands during the ‘60s, few ensembles could boast the kind of staying power and muscle of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra. With some of the biggest names in the business as part of the ensemble’s regular roster and the uniformly exceptional output of writer Thad Jones, this band was successful at a time when economics were making it hard for even established organizations to stay afloat. Unfortunately, the great legacy of the Thad and Mel band was documented on the Solid State label and aside from a Mosaic boxed set compiling that material ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Orchestra: Consummation

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This charming reissue from 1970 makes it even harder to accept the fact that Thad and Mel are no longer with us. Thank goodness we have such glorious music to remember them by. All of the compositions and arrangements are Thad?s, and each one is an unpretentious classic of its kind. The orchestra itself is beyond reproach, with sharp and explosive brass and reeds complementing its unrivaled rhythm section (Lewis, pianist Roland Hanna, bassist Richard Davis). There?s less than forty?seven minutes of music, but as Spencer Tracy said of Katharine Hepburn?s physique in the film Woman of the Year, ?all ...



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