NYJAZZ Initiative

Mad About Thad

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Trumpeter Thad Jones, brother of pianist Hank and drummer Elvin, was probably best known as the co-leader of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, for which he composed and arranged a tremendous amount of material during the 1960s and 1970s. Jones' career as a composer is honored on this CD, which features many younger musicians -- including saxophonists Rob Derke, Ralph Lalama, and Steve Wilson; trumpeter David Smith; trombonist and tuba player Sam Burtis; trombonist Mark Meyers; pianists Art Hirahara and David Bryant; bassist Carlo DeRosa; and drummer Eric McPherson -- playing his compositions, of course including the standard "A Child Is Born." This is swinging, ultra-mainstream jazz by a largish ensemble, and while most younger jazz fans have probably rarely if ever spent any serious time listening to big bands, this CD very much shows the virtues of the form by exploring the repertoire of one of its acknowledged masters.

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