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BOOK EXCERPTS

The View from the Back of the Band: The Life and Music of Mel Lewis

Read "The View from the Back of the Band: The Life and Music of Mel Lewis" reviewed by Chris Smith

The following is an excerpt from “Chapter 13: Opening Night at the Village Vanguard" of The View from the Back of the Band: The Life and Music of Mel Lewis by Chris Smith (University of North Texas Press, 2014). In November of 1965, Thad and Mel quickly put together a list of the musicians they wanted for their band. While Thad had certain friends at CBS that he wanted to hire, and Mel had musicians he wanted, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra: The Definitive Thad Jones

Read "The Definitive Thad Jones" reviewed by George Kanzler

Recorded in 1988, over two decades after the creation of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra and a decade after Jones left the band, this is also its last recording under Lewis' helm (he died two years later, 20 years ago in February, 2010). As such, it reflects Lewis' concept as well as his and the band's adaptations of Jones' charts. The instrumentation is also different than both the early incarnation and today's Vanguard Jazz Orchestra--the brass including two bass ...


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