Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra

Thad Jones with Mel Lewis, Manuel Desica and the Jazz Orchestra

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This is an unusual recording, for it features the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra performing Manuel De Sica's five-part "First Jazz Suite." The distinctive sound of the ensemble is intact; baritonist Pepper Adams has a notable solo; Dee Dee Bridgewater takes a vocal, and the big band was still an all-star orchestra at the time. But overall, this obscure set (not yet reissued on CD), which is rounded off by a later live-in-Italy version of Thad Jones' "Little Pixie," is a lesser effort, worthwhile but not essential.