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March 28, 1923 - August 21, 1986
The "Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra" perform live in Denmark in 1969.
Thad Jones, flugelhorn & conductor
Al Porcino, trumpet
Eddie Bert, trombone
Jerome Richardson, soprano sax
Eddie Daniels, clarinet
Jerry Dodgion, alto sax
Joe Henderson, tenor sax
Pepper Adams, baritone sax
Cliff Heather, bass
Roland Hanna, piano
Richard Davis, bass
Mel Lewis, drums
Thad Jones got his first band orientation in Michigan when he was sixteen playing trumpet with his older brother pianist Hank Jones.
After military service with U. S. Army bands from 1943 to 1946 he worked began working with bands in the Oklahoma City area before joining the "Count Basie Orchestra" in 1954.
During his nearly ten years with Basie, Thad contributed a couple of dozen compositions and arrangements in addition to being a beloved featured soloist on tunes like "April in Paris" and "Corner Pocket."
In 1963 he left Basie and took a job in New York as a composer/arranger and studio musician for CBS.
Born from late night jam session between the city's top musicians, in 1965 Thad Jones organized a jazz orchestra co-led by drummer Mel Lewis.
The "Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra" opened at the Village Vanguard in 1966 and were an instant success.
Among their best recorded examples of Thad's unconventional arranging ability is the early '70s release "Suite for Pops."
He made a sudden move to Copenhagen, Denmark in 1977 but returned in 1985 after Count Basie's death to assume control of his famous Orchestra.
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