Claude Thornhill

The 1946-47 Performances, Vol. 1

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During the mid- to late '40s, pianist Claude Thornhill led an orchestra that specialized in accessible instrumental mood music, sweet pop vocals, and (largely thanks to the creative sensibilities of arranger Gil Evans) beautifully orchestrated compositions associated with the latest developments in modern jazz. The Hep label has dedicated more than half-a-dozen CD compilations to Thornhill's musical legacy. Released in 2003, The 1946-47 Performances, Vol. 1 is almost entirely devoted to the sweet strata with vocals by Fran Warren, Buddy Hughes, and Gene Williams. Instrumental treats include Richard Addinsell's "Warsaw Concerto" and extended treatments of "La Paloma" and the "Arab Dance" from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. Those itchy for a taste of the big-band bop aesthetic should go directly to The 1946-47 Performances, Vol. 2.

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