Claude Thornhill

1949-1953 Performances

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The Claude Thornhill Orchestra was a unique big band, a "sweet" orchestra with strong jazz sensibilities that helped lead the way toward West Coast cool jazz. Often having his reed section play five clarinets without vibrato, emphasizing long atmospheric tones, and performing dreamy ballads, Thornhill also kept his band open to the influence of bebop. This CD starts off with Thornhill's radio transcriptions of 1949-1950, a time when his band included few major names but still had a strong and unique ensemble sound. The final 14 selections are from a two-day session in 1953 that ranks among Thornhill's last significant recordings. The band, which included Gene Quill and Med Flory on altos, mostly performs the arrangements of Gerry Mulligan, tenor saxophonist Ralph Aldridge, and Thornhill. It still sounded unique, and as out of place in the 1950s jazz world as it had a decade earlier. Overall, the highlights of this set of rarities include "Moonlight Bay," "Anthropology," the beautiful "Autumn Nocturne," "Mambo Nothing," "Jeru," two versions of "Summer Is Gone," and "Five Brothers."

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:36 Spotify
2 02:36 Spotify
3 03:04 Spotify
4 02:34 Spotify
5
02:44 Spotify
6 02:15 Spotify
7 02:11 Spotify
8 03:12 Spotify
9 02:10 Spotify
10 02:43 Spotify
11 02:06 Spotify
12 04:13 Spotify
13
02:45 Spotify
14 03:04 Spotify
15 03:04 Spotify
16
02:53 Spotify
17
02:42 Spotify
18
03:34 Spotify
19
04:03 Spotify
20 02:42 Spotify
21 03:00 Spotify
22 03:00 Spotify
23 02:35 Spotify
24 03:06 Spotify
25 06:28 Spotify
26 03:30 Spotify
blue highlight denotes track pick