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Thad Jonesmel Lewis

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Well. the lolks out in Qareiieevilie jusl ean'l gel enough big band music lo quench llicir h.ihii. I or yiir (1k' hi mr in tlio likc ol Woody llorman, Maynard lcrgusin .ind any othcr band thal travels in n bus. A tou v eeks il as I had Jonc-Mcl 1 ewis and Mie Ja Orchestra who stopped m for a brcather on Iheir way home from .i unir of Japan. .m I c.m'i spcak for the Japanesc, bul anybody who's heard Jimmy Wilkins' band is going to ïhul this Thad Jones thing a little cold. Nol Hut the rausicians ;irc lo blame: Thad and Mol siill assemble the besl players around and tbey necd to. Thad's charts dcwand searoless onsetnWe playing and ,i vrc.n range ol irplui arul texlurc. The proUcm thal it iccK töo often liko .i showcase" allair drum solos. duiiKtlk lin.ik's. the woiks. Il süll isn'l su bad to go and heai Ilic likes of 1 rank loster, Cectl Bridgewaler. Pcpper Adams and Thad liiniself, :n matter whal the setting. In fact, durmg aw arrangement by loster of John Coltrane's "'(iiant Steps," il was ,i slieer deliüln. Frank Ilimself look the brunl of the soloinp on temr and Pepper Adams conlributed :i swingng interlude on baritone saxoptioné. Even Sania ( laus can'l provide usvilh enoutih elïortises of Thad Jones fluegelhorn. Thoiigtl it was a raí it y in this eoncert, he did Stretch out on "Once Around." a tune from tlieir tlrst Solid State LP. Thad is a cliche-tree player. even on j tune wilh lime-worn clianges. Cecil Bridgewater showed himselt" lo he a jireai young trompeter on tlic standard "Willow Weep For Me." And Walter Norris, one of (he rare piamsts in Ornette Coleman's.pasl, surfaced with tome un-Jonesian motialities as played Kotand Manna' beauliliil "Speak l.ike a C'hild." The Jones-Lewis band is tight, init il just doesn't teel like it been lived in and sweated over. l'lie humor, the Wamith and the fighl are absent. Unorthodox or not, l've gol to inention the Wilkins band a second tune and cliampion ilieni as the real thing. Why setlle tor