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MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra: Consummation – 1970

Read "Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra: Consummation – 1970" reviewed by Marc Davis

Blue Note was never home to many big bands, but the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra recorded four albums for the label from 1967-70, and one is a certified classic. Consummation is the musical equivalent of Neapolitan ice cream--three flavors packed into one large container. The album contains three moods: soft and contemplative, sprightly and upbeat, and soulful and funky. Each gets two or three songs, and together they make a tasty treat. The record begins with ...

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Thad Jones: The Magnificent Thad Jones

Read "The Magnificent Thad Jones" reviewed by Greg Simmons

It's all about the swing. Featured in the Count Basie Orchestra, one of the hardest swinging bands ever, Thad Jones had more swing in his little toe then most musicians will ever dream of. Even when he slowed the tempo he still swung, and his second date as a leader for Blue Note Records, The Magnificent Thad Jones, swings more at mid-tempo than almost any record I know. The rhythm on this record is a relentless pendulum: It swings left; ...

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Thad Jones and Mel Lewis: All My Yesterdays: The Debut 1966 Recordings at the Village Vanguard

Read "All My Yesterdays:  The Debut 1966 Recordings at the Village Vanguard" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Offering: Live at Temple University (Resonance Records, 2014), Getz/Gilberto '76 (Resonance Records, 2016), Moments in Time (Resonance Records, 2016)...and these are just the most recent (not to forget several Wes Montgomery) releases. Resonance Records steps up (again) and releases what can only be considered the apotheosis of live jazz performance, All My Yesterdays: The Debut 1966 Recordings at the Village Vanguard. Before even considering the music, there is the captured ambiance. Recorded by a then 19-year old amateur ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

The Magnificent Thad Jones – Blue Note 1527

Read "The Magnificent Thad Jones – Blue Note 1527" reviewed by Marc Davis

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 ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

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

Read "Thad Jones: Detroit-New York Junction – Blue Note 1513" reviewed by Marc Davis

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 ...

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Thad Jones: The Danish Radio Big Band & Eclipse

Read "The Danish Radio Big Band & Eclipse" reviewed by Chris Mosey

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 ...

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Thad Jones: The Magnificent Thad Jones

Read "The Magnificent Thad Jones" reviewed by Greg Simmons

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 ...

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

Read "One More: The Summary - Music of Thad Jones, Vol. 2" reviewed by Samuel Chell

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 ...

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Thad Jones-Mel Lewis: Consummation

Read "Consummation" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

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 ...

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The Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Orchestra: Consummation

Read "Consummation" reviewed by Jack Bowers

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 ...

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Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra: Basle, 1969

Read "Basle, 1969" reviewed by Jack Bowers

It has been 30 years to the month since this concert appearance by the Thad Jones–Mel Lewis Orchestra was recorded in Basle, Switzerland, and I’d guess that some of those who were lucky enough to be in the audience still remember the occasion fondly. Although the (unedited) sound on the CD is uneven at times, with some soloists playing off–mic or even bumping into it from time to time, the concert–goers assuredly got their money’s worth from this rip–roaring, rock ...

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Thad Jones, Frank Wess, Teddy Charles: Olio

Read "Olio" reviewed by AAJ Staff

The title is not misspelled, and the Sonny Rollins tune is not played here. (Ira Gitler made this point in the original liner notes; it’s a point still worth making.) “Olio” is an old vaudeville term meaning “medley” or “variety”, and that’s what you get in this Prestige jam session from 1957. While some do not like the looseness of jams, this one benefits from two great organizers: Mal Waldron, who could be counted on to bring ambitious tunes to ...


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