The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra – Thad Jones Legacy (1999)

The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra - Thad Jones Legacy (1999)
Artist: The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
Album: Thad Jones Legacy
Genre: Big Band
Origin: USA
Released: 1999
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
A-That’s Freedom (7:22)
Once Around (5:54)
Quiet Lady (7:31)
Central Park North (8:31)
Yours And Mine (3:54)
Fingers (14:39)
Groove Merchant (8:37)
All My Yesterdays (4:11)
My Centennial (7:34)


The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra is, of course, the highly acclaimed successor to the original Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, founded in 1966. This long overdue and loving tribute to the late bandleader and trumpeter Thad Jones appropriately features eight tunes penned by Thad and one by his brother, Hank Jones, with all the pieces arranged by Thad. The VJO highlights many of the best New York City studio musicians, as well as others, such as trombonist Ed Neumeister and pianist Jim McNeely, who are well-known as leaders of their own groups. The huge talent represented here makes everything played a joyful romp through the works of an underrated but very talented composer and arranger. It is not difficult to realize the appeal of the band through the years, as the tight playing, strong improvisations, and accessible harmonies snare the listener. Highlights abound, including fine contributions by trombonist John Mosca, pianist McNeely, soprano saxophonist Billy Drewes, and tenor saxophonist Rich Perry. With detailed notes, abridged bibliographies on Thad Jones’ work, and a selected discography of his major recordings, this package should satisfy admirers of the trumpeter and of the modern big band.
Review by Steve Loewy