274

NYJAZZ Initiative: Mad About Thad

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
NYJAZZ Initiative: Mad About Thad Before moving to Copenhagen, Denmark in 1978, iconic jazz trumpeter Thad Jones was an established New York City jazz legend best known for his co-leadership of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, which enjoyed a twelve-year residency at the renowned Village Vanguard. Mad About Thad is the debut from the NYJAZZ Initiative—a non-profit organization founded in 2008 to promote an appreciation of jazz through education and regular performances—celebrating Jones' music and keeping it alive for new audiences to enjoy.

Led by NYJAZZ Artistic Director Rob Derke—who provides the arrangements and new orchestration of some of Jones' most beautiful compositions—the band features a ten-piece light ensemble comprised of the finest musicians from New York's exciting jazz scene among them, pianist Art Hirahara, tenor master Ralph Lalama and altoist Steve Wilson.

Of Course, what would a tribute album about Jones be without a brilliant take on his most famous composition, "A Child Is Born," with spectacular solo performances from tenorist Derke and trumpeter David Smith. "Quiet Lady" is anything but, as Derke's arrangement brings out the lively voices of tenor, trombone and piano, while the very harmonic "Lady Luck" presents the best of the big band sound, with Lalama, Wilson and Smith teeing off on gritty solos.

The eight-piece set list includes the bop classic "Mean What You Say" and a couple of better-known Jones standards like "Three And One" and "Evol Deklaw Ni." The ambitious "Elusive" closes out the set without touching on such classics as "Central Park North" or "Groove Merchant" but, regardless ,completes a fine tribute to a legend whose music is timeless.

There are plenty of sane moments on Mad About Thad, a well-deserved tribute to a giant of jazz presented by the impressive NYJAZZ Initiative ensemble. Director Derke keeps the Jones legacy relative to today's modern mainstream jazz with creative new arrangements, well-presented by a stellar group of players.


Track Listing: Bird Song; Quiet Lady; Mean What You Say; A Child Is Born; Lady Luck; Three And One; Evol Deklaw Ni; Elusive.

Personnel: Rob Derke: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Ralph Lalama; Steve Wilson: alto saxophone; David Smith: trumpet, flugelhorn; Sam Burtis: trombone, tuba; Mark Meyers: trombone (1); Art Hirahara: piano (1, 5, 6); David Bryant: piano (2-4, 7, 8); Carlo De Rosa: bass; Eric McPherson: drums.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Jazzheads


Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)" CD/LP/Track Review Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Dancing Our Way To Death" CD/LP/Track Review Dancing Our Way To Death
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen" CD/LP/Track Review Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "A Zoology of the Future" CD/LP/Track Review A Zoology of the Future
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Eastern Smiles" CD/LP/Track Review Eastern Smiles
by Ian Patterson
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen" CD/LP/Track Review Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!