Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Big Band: Little Pixie
Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Big Band
Village Vanguard Live Sessions, Vol. 3 (Delta 17138)
Snooky Young, Jimmy Nottingham, Richard Williams (trumpets), Garnett Brown, Tom McIntosh, Cliff Heather (trombones), Jerry Dodgion (alto sax), Roland Hanna (piano), Richard Davis (bass).
Composed by Thad Jones.
Recorded: New York, November 15-17, 1970
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
Sure, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band occasionally entered the electric/fusion world with funk-groove experiments: check out "Central Park North" for a prime example. But the famed group that performed every Monday night at the Village Vanguard epitomizes the modern big band when they are just plain swinging, too. Their arrangements and featured soloists skillfully combine Swing Era classicism with the energy and freedom of bebop and hard bop. On this track, Jerome Richardson, Eddie Daniels and Joe Farrell take fine solos, and Pepper Adams's rousing baritone sax solo makes clear why he was nicknamed "The Knife." The widespread, sustained influence of this group can still be heard every Monday night when the current Vanguard Jazz Orchestra plays many of the Jones/Lewis arrangements as a memorial to the originators of the straight-ahead, modern New York big band.
Reviewer: Eric Novod