The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra: Kids Are Pretty People


Kids Are Pretty People


The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra


Monday Night Live at the Village Vanguard (Planet Arts 105084)

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Nick Marchione (trumpet), Frank Greene (trumpet), Terrell Stafford (trumpet), Scott Wendholt (trumpet), John Mosca (trombone), Luis Bonilla (trombone), Jason Jackson (trombone), Douglas Purviance (bass trombone), Dick Oatts (reeds), Billy Drewes (reeds), Rich Perry (reeds), Ralph LaLama (reeds), Gary Smulyan (baritone sax), Michael Weiss (piano), Phil Palombi (bass), John Riley (drums).

Composed and arranged by Thad Jones


Recorded: Village Vanguard, New York, February 10-11, 2008


Rating: 89/100 (learn more)

Don't dare call the Vanguard orchestra a ghost band! That said, some powerful spirits from the past float around the bandstand on Monday nights at the Village Vanguard. This ensemble took life in the mid-1960s as the Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, and the 2008 edition of the VJO pays homage to one of the great Thad Jones groove ballads from back in the day, "Kids Are Pretty People." The kids who were pretty people when Thad was around have grown up . . . shucks, they now run the band. But the parents can look on with pride. The VJO performs this testament to intergenerational goodwill with relaxation and warmth. The section work is a joy to hear, and top solo honors go to trombonist John Mosca. A new bunch of kids are around these days. Let's hope they give this track a listen.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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  • 1 Rene Laanen // Jul 19, 2008 at 10:52 AM
    The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, still the best big band ever!
  • 2 Stephan Krause // Jul 25, 2008 at 11:38 AM
    I’ve recently heard “Kids Are Pretty People” on WBGO and I can just confirm René, that band is just great. Awesome spirit in that tune. I just wish it was easier to get ahold of a CD in Germany.