Mel Lewis / Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra

The Definitive Thad Jones: Live from the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1

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Although Thad Jones (who passed away in 1986) had left the big band that he co-led with drummer Mel Lewis back in 1979, some of his charts remained in the orchestra's book. On the first of two CDs taken from an engagement at the Village Vanguard (a third CD, Soft Lights and Hot Music, is also from these dates), Lewis leads his men through five Jones arrangements, including "Quietude," "Three in One" (which is 13 minutes long),and the 15-minute stomper "Little Pixie." The soloists include baritonist Gary Smulyan, both Joe Lovano and Ralph Lalama on tenors, altoists Ted Nash and Dick Oatts, trumpeter Glenn Drewes, and pianist Kenny Werner. Recommended as a particularly strong example of the Mel Lewis Orchestra.

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