Dance to the Sound of Claude Thornhill

Claude Thornhill

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Dance to the Sound of Claude Thornhill Review

by Richard S. Ginell

These bouncy yet generic big band tracks were the last that Claude Thornhill made for a major label. By this time, his prime band now a decade behind him, Thornhill was mostly content to tread water with a conventional dance band that fed off the waning embers of the swing era for aging jitterbuggers who still liked to go to ballrooms. The band sounds energetic enough, purveying standards and an occasional Thornhill original, with the leader contributing repeated echoes of his descending "Snowfall" lick. But the brooding originality of the Gil Evans-period band is gone. Except for Thornhill's piano and an occasional throwback like "Sleepy Serenade" and a pro-forma "Snowfall," they sound much like any other dance band of the '50s, even attemping the cha cha at one unfortunate point. Which is presumably what Decca thought the public, if not posterity, wanted then.