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Thad Jones: The Danish Radio Big Band & Eclipse

Chris Mosey By

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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 Horizon), a tribute to Louis Armstrong.

Jones was always a cut above the average. In 1961, as a sideman with Count Basie, he took an active part in putting together the historic First Time! album, which featured the Basie band with the Duke Ellington Orchestra (CBS).

Now—alas posthumously—Storyville are releasing a live recording of Jones conducting the Danish Radio Big Band in the legendary Copenhagen jazz club, Montmartre. The line-up includes ex- pats Idrees Sulieman (trumpet) and Richard Boone (trombone and vocals).

"Tip Toe," the opener, reminiscent in its early stages of Duke Ellington's "Suite Thursday," gets steadily more percussive, building to a fine, melodic alto solo by Jesper Thilo. "New York City" deftly evokes the alternate chaos and dynamism of the scene Jones left behind.

He tips his hat to Dizzy Gillespie ("Frelimo") and Duke Ellington ("Day Dream") before letting Richard Boone go to town vocally on the Gershwin brothers' "I Got Rhythm." There's a sensitive version of "Old Folks" before the session comes to a rocking, rollicking close with "A Good Time Was Had By All" from Suite For Pops.

The second CD stars Jones' own 18-piece Danish band, Eclipse and includes "To You," which he wrote for the Ellington/Basie get together. There's also Charlie Parker's "Scrapple From The Apple," which somehow got overlooked when the three Jones brothers got together in 1980 to cut Groovin' High, a bebop album, for Muse.

With Thad Jones' death in 1986, the big band tradition, which he had carried on almost single-handedly, way past its sell-by date, disappeared too.

Track Listing: CD1: Tip Toe; New York City; Kids Are Pretty People; Frelimo; Day Dream; The Farewell; “61’st And Rich’It”; I Got Rhythm; Old Folks; A Good Time Was Had By All. CD2: Basically Yours; To You; Snickerdoodle; I Can’t Give You Anything But Love; Honky Punk; This Bass Was Made For Walking; Baby, I Can’t Get Over It; I Hope This Time Isn’t The Last; Arrival; Scrapple From The Apple; La Solitude; My Centennial.

Personnel: CD1: Thad Jones: cornet, leader; Benny Rosenfeld, Pelle Bolvig, Idrees Sulieman, Allan Botschinsky, Perry Knudsen: trumpet; Vincent Nilsson, Erling Kroner, Ole Kurt Jensen, Axel Windfeld: trombone; Richard Boone: trombone, vocal; Jesper Thilo, Per Carsten, Bent Jaedig, Uffe Karskov, Flemming Madsen: reeds; Ole Kock Hansen: keyboards; Bo Sylvén; Niels-Henning Østed Pedersen: bass; Bjarne Rostvold: drums; Ethan Weisgard: congas, percussion. CD2, 1-6: Thad Jones: cornet, leader; Erik Tschentscher, Tim Hagans, Lars Togeby, Egon Petersen, Jan Glaesel: trumpet; Ture Larsen, Axel Windfeld, Bjarne Thanning, Niels Neergaard: trombone; Richard Boone: trombone, vocal; Ole Thøger Nielsen, Jorgen Nilsson, Michael Hove, Bengt Jaedig, Sahib Shihab: reeds; Horace Parlan: piano; Jesper Lundgaard: bass; Ed Thigpen: drums. CD 2, 7-12: Thad Jones: cornet, leader; Erik Tschentscher, Tim Hagans, LarsTogeby, Egon Petersen, Jan Glaesel: trumpet; Ture Larsen, Palle Jensen, Bill Beecroft, Jens Engel: trombone; Ole Thøger Nielsen, Sahib Shihab, Jorgen Nilsson, Jesper Nehammer, Michael Hove: reeds; Horace Parlan: piano; Jesper Lundgaard: bass; Nicolai Gromin: guitar; Emmanuel Khaliq Rahim: congas; Bjarne Rostvold: drums.

Title: The Danish Radio Big Band & Eclipse | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Storyville Records


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