Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Big Band: Little Pixie


Little Pixie


Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Big Band


Village Vanguard Live Sessions, Vol. 3 (Delta 17138)

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Thad Jones (flugelhorn), Mel Lewis (drums), Jerome Richardson (alto sax), Eddie Daniels (tenor sax), Joe Farrell (tenor sax), Pepper Adams (baritone sax),

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

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