Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra

The Complete Solid State Recordings of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra

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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow

The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis big band was one of the finest jazz orchestras of the late '60s, but its Solid State LPs had been long out of print for decades before Mosaic wisely reissued all of the music (plus seven previously unissued performances) on this deluxe but limited-edition five-CD set. With Jones' colorful and distinctive arrangements, soloists such as trumpeters Danny Stiles, Marvin Stamm, and Richard Williams; trombonists Bob Brookmeyer and Jimmy Knepper; the reeds of Jerome Richardson, Jerry Dodgion, Joe Farrell, Billy Harper, Eddie Daniels, and Pepper Adams; and pianists Hank Jones and Roland Hanna; plus a rhythm section driven by bassist Richard Davis and drummer Mel Lewis, this was a classic band. Highlights among the 42 performances include "Mean What You Say," "Don't Git Sassy," "Tiptoe," "Fingers," "Central Park North," and the original version of "A Child Is Born," but nearly every selection is memorable.

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