Archive for the Thad JONES Category

Thad JONES, Frank WESS, Teddy CHARLES, Mal WALDRON – Olio 1957

Posted in Doug WATKINS, Elvin JONES, Frank WESS, JAZZ, Mal WALDRON, Teddy CHARLES, Thad JONES on December 25, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Thad JONES, Frank WESS, Teddy CHARLES, Mal WALDRON – Olio 1957
1999 Issue. OJCCD 1004-2


The title is not misspelled, and the Sonny Rollins tune is not played here. (Ira Gitler made this point in the original liner notes; it’s a point still worth making.) “Olio” is an old vaudeville term meaning “medley” or “variety”, and that’s what you get in this Prestige jam session from 1957. While some do not like the looseness of jams, this one benefits from two great organizers: Mal Waldron, who could be counted on to bring ambitious tunes to his session, and Teddy Charles, producer of Prestige’s most “advanced” ‘Fifties dates. It’s Teddy’s production, and he also brings his distinctive vibes sound, giving us a different-tasting Olio.
The group is unfamiliar, but its members are not. Waldron and Doug Watkins had played on many Prestige jam sessions, Thad Jones and Frank Wess were on a 1954 date for Debut, and Charles was there with Elvin Jones on Miles’ Blue Moods. With this familiarity, the sound gels early. It opens with Waldron’s “Potpourri”, which was also done by John Coltrane. The contrapuntal theme, a bit blurred on the Trane version, here stands out, with Charles playing the melody, Wess and Thad playing unison responses. Elvin explodes on the bridge; his cymbals are great and his sticks click like mad. Wess takes the first solo, and makes himself known. His flute was a little breathy on the theme, but here he asserts, stretching fluid lines. Thad is similarly active, starting warm and slowly getting brassy. Charles starts slow while the rhythm pushes on; after four bars of meditation he gets moving, his tone blunt with little vibrato. Left and right hands converse in Waldron’s solo, which is more introspective than anyone else’s. The theme returns, and again Elvin steals the show.

“Blues Without Woe” is as described, a 12-bar pattern that sounds like a piece of a larger song. Thad’s solo sticks to theme in the first chorus, then gets more adventurous. Like “Potpourri” he starts subdued with short phrases, quickly developing into long boppy lines. He stays relaxed, even in his shouts. Charles comes on quiet, his rolling patterns sounding cool and intellectual. Wess, on tenor this time, is very mellow, recalling Lester even when his solo gains energy – a controlled heat which befits this track. Waldron’s solo is a series of patterns. Walked around the chords and repeated to great effect. Elvin crashes up a storm on his first round of fours, and snares us in the second round. The horns are more energetic on the fours, and Charles plays chords for the first time. The theme is played a single time, as it was in the beginning, and the happy blues come to an end.

“Touche” is Waldron’s best tune on the album, a clever bit of call-and-response with Wess’ flute sounding especially lovely. Wess opens with a handful of twittering figures, and sends us off with a long funky line, with the slightest gutteral sound at the end. Charles’ solo is a glory to behold. He starts off cerebral, his sounds picks up heat, Charles gets animated, and when he stops the excitement is visceral. Waldron’s solo begins just before Charles’ ends, heavy chords on the left side, deft notes on the right. Wess and Thad trade fours on the close, and the last half of the theme brings us to the end.

Charles’ “Dakar” is a revelation. The famous version was recorded two months later with Coltrane and two baritones. That version was dark and mysterious; what a difference a lineup makes! Charles parallels Waldron on the rhythmic opening; the vibes make the thunderous chords lighter. The theme is stated by Wess, and Thad’s harmony part is so high and pure it sounds like a second flute. The Trane version was a smoky, busy seaport; this is a graceful lady on a distant shore. Wess opens in the lower register, playing it slow and sensual, trilling a bit as the lady beckons you closer. The second chorus is higher and cheerful; you are now beside the lady, and she does a dance for you. Charles’ solo is low and sparse; as on Blue Moods he says a lot with a few notes. Thad’s solo is warm and confident where the others were exotic; perhaps he is a visitor to this distance place. Some nice dissonant chords from Charles open Waldron’s solo, which is brittle and percussive like some of his others. This “Dakar” is a nice place to visit; Coltrane would show us its other side later.

Warm chords and soft brushes open “Embraceable You”, a feature for Thad. Charles chords with Waldron, making the comping wonderfully thick. Thad never states the theme fully; that is up to Wess’ tenor, which really sounds like Lester this time around. The sophisticated sax takes us out, with a nice descending figure at the end.

“Hello Frisco” has an involved, clustered theme in which trumpet and sax weave while Charles dances on top. Waldron’s solo is sparse, reminiscent of “Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise”; he then chords thick around Thad’s sad solo. Charles gets bluesy, with a fair bit of vibrato; it’s his best since “Touche”. Wess’ solo does a slow burn, with more aggression than his last effort. The theme closes it up, and we are left with an album that serves up varying moods, tangy tastes and varied voices. In other words, Olio.
By John Barrett Jr.
A classic Prestige jam session from the late 50s — one with Thad Jones on trumpet, Frank Wess on tenor and flute, Teddy Charles on vibes, Mal Waldron on piano, Doug Watkins on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums. Charles is amazing, as he is on all of his Prestige recordings, and he plays with a dark edge that you seldom hear from other vibists at the time. Waldron’s the great unsung hero of these sessions, as his playing and compositions are consistently remarkable, and which provide great accompaniment for the horn players. Tracks include the fantastic “Dakar”, plus “Touche”, “Blues Without Woe”, and “Potpourri”.
From Dusty Groove.
Trumpeter Thad Jones receives first billing on this all-star outing, but vibraphonist Teddy Charles, who contributed three of the six selections (two of the other songs are by pianist Mal Waldron, while the lone standard is “Embraceable You”) was really the musical director. Jones, Charles, and Waldron are joined by Frank Wess (doubling on tenor and flute), bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Elvin Jones for a set of modern hard bop. Although this was not a regular group and there is not an obvious leader, the music is on a higher level than that of a routine jam session. The challenging material and the high quality playing of the young greats makes this fairly obscure modern mainstream set (reissued on CD in 1998) well worth exploring.
By Scott Yanow. AMG.
Thad Jones- (Trumpet)
Mal Waldron- (Piano)
Frank Wess- (Tenor Sax, Flute on tracks 1, 3, 4)
Teddy Charles- (Vibraphone)
Doug Watkins- (Bass)
Elvin Jones- (Drums
01. Potpourri (Waldron) 6:04
02. Blues Without Woe (Charles) 7:58
03. Touché (Waldron) 6:25
04. Dakar (Charles) 6:58
05. Embraceable You (Gershwin, Gershwin) 4:17
06. Hello Frisco (Charles) 6:23
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Thad JONES & Mel LEWIS Orchestra – A Touch of Class 1978

Posted in JAZZ, Mel LEWIS, Thad JONES on December 22, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Thad JONES & Mel LEWIS Orchestra – A Touch of Class 1978


A Touch of Class is a big band jazz album recorded at the Jazz Jamboree Festival in Warsaw (Poland)
on October 26, 1978
Steve Coleman- (Alto Sax),
Thad Jones- (Trumpet),
Mel Lewis- (Drums),
Jim McNeely- (Piano), (Trumpet),
Charles Davis- (Baritone Sax),
Jesper Lundgaard- (Bass),
John Mosca- (Trombone),
Larry Moss- (Trumpet),
Dick Oatts- (Sax (Alto)),
Douglas Purviance- (Trombone),
L. Robertson- (Trombone),
Bob Rockwell- (Tenor Sax),
Irv Stokes- (Trumpet),
Ron Tooley- (Trumpet),
Rich Perry- (Tenor Sax),
Lilly Bienenfield- (Trombone).
01. Quietude (Jones)  7:26
02. Samba Con Get Chu (Brookmeyer) – 13:35
03. Cecilia Is Love (Foster) – 7:06
04. I Love You (Porter) – 5:57
05. And I Love You So (McLean) – 7:33
06. That’s Freedom (Jones) – 9:14
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Thad JONES – Mad Thad 1957

Posted in JAZZ, Thad JONES on December 21, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Thad JONES – Mad Thad  1957
1999 Issue
Recorded in New York between December 24, 1956 and January 6, 1957


Though still a member of the Count Basie band, Thad Jones began to make his mark as a forward-thinking bop trumpeter and writer with recordings such as these from 1956 and 1957. Like its companion release, The Jones Boys, the performances are from a gathering of the leader’s namesakes and members of the Basie band. The Detroit connection is also represented by pianist Tommy Flanagan and bassist Doug Watkins, along with Thad and his brother Elvin (on drums for four tracks). The music is cool, swinging bop that has affinities with the transitional sounds of Jones’ contemporaries Miles Davis and Clifford Brown. The Basie influence is evident in the insistent, economic pulse of the rhythm section. The young leader’s tart, inviting sound finds good company in the energetic, swinging, imaginative work of saxophonists Frank Foster and Frank Wess (who switches to flute for a track). Trombonist Henry Coker sets up some closely voiced Gil Evans-like harmonies on three tracks. The performances are from a December 1956 quintet date that includes two tracks arranged and conducted by Quincy Jones, and from a January 1957 sextet session. The CD includes a ballad medley from the 1957 session that was originally put out on a release shared with Sonny Rollins. With the exception of the medley, the performances have the energy and impact of early bop informed by the harmonic innovations that were evolving in the latter half of the 1950s. The medley (“Flamingo,” “If You Were Mine,” “I’m Through With Love,” “Love Walked In”), on the other hand, has a traditional swing conception that doesn’t mesh well with the progressive tendencies of the other tracks.
By Jim Todd, All Music Guide.
Eddie Jones- (Bass)
Doug Watkins- (Bass)
Frank Wess- (Tenor Sax,Flute)
Elvin Jones- (Drums)
Tommy Flanagan- (Piano)
Thad Jones (Cornet, Trumpet, Flugelhorn)
Jimmy Jones- (Piano)
Jo Jones- (Drums)
Henry Coker- (Trombone)
Frank Foster- (Tenor Sax)
01. Whisper Not 5:38
02. Quiet Sip 9:04
03. Ballad Medley: Flamingo,If You Were Mine,I’m Through With …  7:26
04. Cat Meets Chick 5:26
05. Bird Song 8:25
06. Jumping for Jane 5:35
07. Mad Thad 4:40
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Lee MORGAN & Thad JONES – Minor Strain 1960

Posted in JAZZ, Lee MORGAN, Thad JONES on December 9, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Lee MORGAN & Thad JONES – Minor Strain 1960
1990 Issue


Lee Morgan shares this CD reissue with fellow trumpeter Thad Jones. Morgan’s three selections feature a quintet with tenor-saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist Bobby Timmons, bassist Jimmy Roser and drummer Art Taylor. While that hard bop group democratically performs one original apiece from Morgan, Timmons and Shorter, Thad Jones’s date has four of his songs plus a previously unissued alternate take of “Subtle Rebuttal”; best-known is “Tip Toe” which was later recorded by The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. Jones’s septet is filled with Count Basie sidemen (trombonist Al Grey and tenors Billy Mitchell and Frank Wess) along with a fine rhythm section (pianist Hank Jones, bassist Richard Davis and drummer Osie Johnson) and is more swing-oriented than The Morgan group, but the two sets are equally rewarding.
By Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
Jimmy Rowser- Bass
Frank Wess- Flute, Sax (Tenor)
Osie Johnson- Drums
Richard Davis- Bass
Al Grey- Trombone
Hank Jones- Piano
Thad Jones- Trumpet
Billy Mitchell- Sax (Tenor)
Lee MorganTrumpet
Wayne Shorter- Sax (Tenor)
Art Taylor- Drums
Bobby Timmons- Piano
01. Suspended Sentence 5:22
02. Minor Strain 6:23
03. A Bid For Sid 4:28
04. Subtle Rebuttal (alt take) 3:56
05. Subtle Rebuttal 4:02
06. Tip Toe 3:35
07. H and T Blues 9:56
08. Friday The 13th 6:55

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