On my CD player today I have three discs in rotation; they are The Complete Solid State Recordings of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra (Mosaic 1994). Thad, middle brother to Hank and Elvin, would have been 83 years old today. He was a brilliant arranger and band leader, better known for his dynamic conducting, harmonic constructions, section writing, and on-the-spot head arrangements than for his horn playing. But he playing was beautiful too. I mention Thad from time to time on this blog — A Week of Monday Nights last May, Once Upon A Monday Night last October, and just last week I mentioned seeing Ralph Gleasonâ€™s â€œJazz Casualâ€ tv episode featuring the band in the late 1960s. I guess Iâ€™d better order the Jazz Casual DVDs while supplies last.
I am so glad that my husband gifted me this boxed CD set when it came out a dozen years ago; being a â€œlimited editionâ€ it is no longer available. The brightness and bounce of Little Pixie seems particularly uplifting on this chilly, rainy day in usually sunny California. Happy birthday Thaddeus.