Thad Jones & Mel Lewis: Big Dipper


Big Dipper


Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Big Band


Opening Night The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band at the Vanguard (Alan Grant Prod.)

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Thad Jones (flugelhorn), Mel Lewis (drums), Bill Berry (trumpet), Jimmy Nottingham (trumpet), Jimmy Owens (trumpet), Snooky Young (trumpet), Garnett Brown (trombone), Jack Rains (trombone), Bob Brookmeyer (trombone), Jerome Richardson (reeds), Joe Farrell (reeds), Pepper Adams (baritone sax), Hank Jones (piano), Richard Davis (bass), Mel Lewis (drums).

Composed and arranged by Thad Jones


Recorded: Village Vanguard, New York City, February 7, 1966


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

This track is the first tune played on the first night of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band, a Monday night tradition at the Vanguard that continues to this day, nearly 42 years later. After finishing major tours with Count Basie and Stan Kenton, respectively, Jones and Lewis started the band in order to solidify a fresh, swinging New York big band. With arrangements written predominantly by Jones and trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, classic swing charts were infused with modern bop elements to push the big band tradition into innovative territory. Even though Jones left the band in 1979 and Lewis passed away in 1990, the current Vanguard Jazz Orchestra extends the Jones/Lewis tradition by continuing to play some of their arrangements on Monday nights at the Vanguard.

Reviewer: Eric Novod

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