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Thad Jones/Mel Lewis: Groove Merchant


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The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra was one of the last great big bands. Formed in 1965, the orchestra played Monday nights at New York's Village Vanguard and recorded and toured extensively, including a swing through the Soviet Union in 1972. When Jones decided to move to Copenhagen in 1978, the band became known as the Mel Lewis Orchestra. When Lewis died in 1990, it became the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. The band won two Grammys, one in 1979 and the other in 2009.

Last week, Kurt Kolstad sent along this clip of the band in 1968 performing Jerome Mitchell's The Groove Merchant...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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