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Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra is the current title for a band that began life as the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra in 1966 and has performed continuously ever since. The story is familiar but bears repeating that in 1966 cornetist, composer, arranger, Thad Jones and drummer Mel Lewis founded a band in New York. Having settled in New York after leaving their respective touring jobs with Basie and Kenton, Thad and Mel along with many of their colleagues needed an outlet for their creative energies and relief from the tedium of the studio work. With a handful of arrangements they approached legendary club owner Max Gordon and were booked at the Village Vanguard for 3 Mondays in February

ARTICLE: CATCHING UP WITH

Michael Weiss: Soul Journey

Read "Michael Weiss: Soul Journey" reviewed by Luke Seabright

Bebop is a complex craft, and like all crafts the only way to get any good at it is by learning from those who mastered it before you. Jamming through the night, getting on to that bandstand and firing away your best improvised lines, jousting with your partners (be they friends or strangers) like in the ...

Take Five with Pete Coco

Read "Take Five with Pete Coco" reviewed by Pete Coco

About Pete Coco A mainstay on the New York jazz scene, bassist Pete Coco recently released his debut album as a leader, Lined with a Groove, featuring drummer Matt Wilson and pianist Sullivan Fortner. The LP is an homage to his mentors and influences, with fresh arrangements of tunes by bassists including Ron Carter, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jim McNeely: Barefoot Dances and Other Visions

Read "Barefoot Dances and Other Visions" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

When today's top composer-arrangers of large ensemble jazz are discussed, Jim McNeely's name sometimes gets overlooked. He deserves the recognition. He's been a long- time associate of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra and its descendant, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and he's also done a lot of work with several European big bands. It could be ...

Michael Weiss: Building an Identity

Read "Michael Weiss: Building an Identity" reviewed by Luke Seabright

Michael Weiss is a jazz pianist and composer. His mastery of the hard bop style (he cites Horace Silver as one of his greatest influences), as well as his breadth of experience accompanying some of jazz's most acclaimed soloists, have made him a key figure in the New York jazz scene. His long-standing association with saxophonist ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Monday Night Big Band with Kristin Korb at Malmo Live

Read "Monday Night Big Band with Kristin Korb at Malmo Live" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

Monday Night Big Band Featuring Kristin Korb Malmo Live Malmo, Sweden October 30, 2017 The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra recently celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. While its longevity is impressive, so is the wide-ranging the influence of the organization, which was started by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis in the mid-sixties. In ...

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

50 Years at the Village Vanguard: Thad Jones, Mel Lewis and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

Read "50 Years at the Village Vanguard: Thad Jones, Mel Lewis and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

50 Years at the Village Vanguard: Thad Jones, Mel Lewis and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra Dave Lisik and Eric Allen 316 Pages ISBN: #9780692808580 SkyDeck 2017 During the heydays of the big bands, people swooned and jitterbugged to the swinging sounds of these large ensembles. Names like Count Basie, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dave Noland: Ripple

Read "Ripple" reviewed by Bob Kenselaar

Ripple is Dave Noland's second album as a leader, a self-produced endeavor that follows the tenor saxophonist's 2007 recording for the Jazz Excursion label, Nomad. With a mix of four original tunes and three standards, Ripple showcases Noland's considerable talents as a composer, arranger, and improviser. Originally from San Angelo, Texas, Noland has been ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

U.S. Jazz From Denmark: Six Recent SteepleChase Releases

Read "U.S. Jazz From Denmark: Six Recent SteepleChase Releases" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

The opportunity to listen to six recently released discs on the venerable SteepleChase label (and the SteepleChase LookOut branch) is a little like reading an anthology of short stories by distinguished authors from a particular year or period. You get a hearty helping of vital, mature voices, most of whom operate somewhere in the jazz mainstream, ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Walt Weiskopf: All About the Sound

Read "Walt Weiskopf: All About the Sound" reviewed by Bob Kenselaar

What is it that drives Walt Weiskopf? It's all about the music, all about the sound. He's reached a large audience in ten years of touring with Steely Dan. He's written a half dozen books on jazz improvisation techniques and methods, and he's taught at the Eastman School of Music, Temple University and New ...


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