Thad Jones & Mel Lewis: Tiptoe




Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Big Band


Consummation (Blue Note 38226)

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Thad Jones (flugelhorn), Mel Lewis (drums), Snooky Young (trumpet), Danny Moore (trumpet), Al Porcino (trumpet), Marvin Stamm (trumpet), Eddie Bert (trombone), Benny Powell (trombone), Jimmy Knepper (trombone), Cliff Heather (bass trombone), Jerome Richardson (soprano sax), Jerry Dodgion (alto sax), Billy Harper (tenor sax), Eddie Daniels (tenor sax), Richie Kamuca (baritone sax), Sir Roland Hanna (piano), Richard Davis (bass).

Composed by Thad Jones


Recorded: New York, January 21, 1970


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Thad Jones was arguably the most consistently interesting big band arranger of the 1960s and 1970s, and “Tiptoe” is one of his masterpieces. The childlike staccato saxophone melody bounces playfully on top of tasteful swing, humorously complimented by Roland Hanna’s piano interjections. After a surprising trombone and bass unison, the horns return for some frantic conversation with Lewis’s drums. The drummer’s classy, laid-back brushwork calms the band and leads the way into a toe-tapping chorus by altoist Jerry Dodgion. The band enters with characteristic backgrounds—crisp, complicated, yet perfectly subtle—before strolling through a tight shout chorus led by lead trumpeter Marvin Stamm. This is the Jones/Lewis Orchestra at its peak.

Reviewer: Matt Leskovic


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