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ghost of miles

"Claude Thornhill: Godfather of Cool"

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This week's Night Lights show--originally intended as a centennial tribute--is now up for online listening:

 

Claude Thornhill: Godfather of Cool

 

It covers Thornhill's career from 1941 to 1953, with some historical background, reflections & items of interest (For instance, "Snowfall" originally had a very different title!). I tried to provide a fairly broad overview of the band's sound, including a couple of the more pop-oriented tunes.

 

Turns out, according to the Terre Haute Trib-Star, that it's not Thornhill's centennial--they recently discovered that he was born in 1908, not 1909. I'm going over there Monday night for a tribute concert that will try to raise funds for a headstone (he's buried there in an unmarked grave).

Edited by ghost of miles

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Oh, what the hell, call it a centennial show anyway.

Big fan of Claude. My Dad used to talk about him and sort of suggested that he was something of a forgotten figure. This was in the 70s and 80s when I suppose a lot of jazz artists from that era could have been considered forgotten. Anyway, I've picked up various CT collections through the years. Glad to see others appreciate him.

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Oh, what the hell, call it a centennial show anyway.

Big fan of Claude. My Dad used to talk about him and sort of suggested that he was something of a forgotten figure. This was in the 70s and 80s when I suppose a lot of jazz artists from that era could have been considered forgotten. Anyway, I've picked up various CT collections through the years. Glad to see others appreciate him.

I've got all 8 of the Hep releases, which are probably the most comprehensive documentation of CT on record that we'll ever get. Have a few of the obscure Victor 78s, too, but haven't transferred them to cd-r yet. Glad to know you're a fan too, TTK!

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I just came across a cd entitled 'MOON DREAMS rediscovered music of Gil Evans and Gerry Mulligan" by the Dutch Jazz Orchestra (the organization that's done four discs of rediscovered Billy Strayhorn charts.) Though many of the numbers were recorded by Thornhill or the Miles Davis Nontet the notes claim that these versions were never recorded. They're from 2 archives of Thornhill material and if you're a fan definitely worth the listen. Several of them seem to be for an augmented Thornhill band with 8 woodwinds, 2 french horns and a tuba.

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I just came across a cd entitled 'MOON DREAMS rediscovered music of Gil Evans and Gerry Mulligan" by the Dutch Jazz Orchestra (the organization that's done four discs of rediscovered Billy Strayhorn charts.) Though many of the numbers were recorded by Thornhill or the Miles Davis Nontet the notes claim that these versions were never recorded. They're from 2 archives of Thornhill material and if you're a fan definitely worth the listen. Several of them seem to be for an augmented Thornhill band with 8 woodwinds, 2 french horns and a tuba.

Just ordered a copy--thanks for the tip.

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I just came across a cd entitled 'MOON DREAMS rediscovered music of Gil Evans and Gerry Mulligan" by the Dutch Jazz Orchestra (the organization that's done four discs of rediscovered Billy Strayhorn charts.) Though many of the numbers were recorded by Thornhill or the Miles Davis Nontet the notes claim that these versions were never recorded. They're from 2 archives of Thornhill material and if you're a fan definitely worth the listen. Several of them seem to be for an augmented Thornhill band with 8 woodwinds, 2 french horns and a tuba.

Just ordered a copy--thanks for the tip.

This disc got very positive reviews from Dave Gelly in the Observer and John Fordham in the Guardian, who added "this may be a set for the cognoscenti". I guess we pass the test! Excerpts I've heard online sound fine. Will be buying.

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I just came across a cd entitled 'MOON DREAMS rediscovered music of Gil Evans and Gerry Mulligan" by the Dutch Jazz Orchestra (the organization that's done four discs of rediscovered Billy Strayhorn charts.) Though many of the numbers were recorded by Thornhill or the Miles Davis Nontet the notes claim that these versions were never recorded. They're from 2 archives of Thornhill material and if you're a fan definitely worth the listen. Several of them seem to be for an augmented Thornhill band with 8 woodwinds, 2 french horns and a tuba.

Just ordered a copy--thanks for the tip.

This disc got very positive reviews from Dave Gelly in the Observer and John Fordham in the Guardian, who added "this may be a set for the cognoscenti". I guess we pass the test! Excerpts I've heard online sound fine. Will be buying.

Part of the fun with these is hearing these arrangements in well recorded stereo. The tuba parts become really distinct.

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I just came across a cd entitled 'MOON DREAMS rediscovered music of Gil Evans and Gerry Mulligan" by the Dutch Jazz Orchestra (the organization that's done four discs of rediscovered Billy Strayhorn charts.) Though many of the numbers were recorded by Thornhill or the Miles Davis Nontet the notes claim that these versions were never recorded. They're from 2 archives of Thornhill material and if you're a fan definitely worth the listen. Several of them seem to be for an augmented Thornhill band with 8 woodwinds, 2 french horns and a tuba.

Just ordered a copy--thanks for the tip.

This disc got very positive reviews from Dave Gelly in the Observer and John Fordham in the Guardian, who added "this may be a set for the cognoscenti". I guess we pass the test! Excerpts I've heard online sound fine. Will be buying.

Part of the fun with these is hearing these arrangements in well recorded stereo. The tuba parts become really distinct.

Featuring a couple of cuts from this CD on an upcoming Afterglow--thanks again, Medjuck. I think my favorite cuts are the arrangements Evans wrote for an expanded rehearsal version of the Thornhill orchestra that evidently never recorded. EDIT: just noticed that Medjuck mentioned this version of the CT big band upstream as well.

Edited by ghost of miles

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for a bit of Thornhill in his waning days I recommend reading Mike Zwerin's first autobiography (don't remember the name). Fascinating stuff about when he was on the road with the later band.

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Enjoying this now, thanks!!

Big Gil Evans fan, I've never really explored Thornhill as much as I've often intended.

Thanks again!

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10 hours ago, Rooster_Ties said:

Enjoying this now, thanks!!

Big Gil Evans fan, I've never really explored Thornhill as much as I've often intended.

Thanks again!

So glad you dug it, RT! I’m admittedly a bit of an evangelist when it comes to Thornhill and his 1940s big bands.

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What are some good Claude Thornhill CDs?  Everything I see on Amazon looks like a budget release with old people graphics.  

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32 minutes ago, Teasing the Korean said:

What are some good Claude Thornhill CDs?  Everything I see on Amazon looks like a budget release with old people graphics.  

I'll confess, I've never seen a Thornhill CD that didn't have that exact same look about it.

Like, I've never known what was a definitive Thornhill CD to pick up, because they all have looked line cheap budget-line "who-knows-what-you're-really-getting" affairs.

My interest has always stemmed from the connection to Gil, and I understand there is one(?) Thornhill CD that seems to focus on stuff with Gil's involvement, but it also looked like a very budget (maybe even public-domain) type release too.

Anyone's guidance welcome! - and thanks in advance.

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This is a good one. Go for any Thornhill compilations that are on the Hep label and you can't go wrong in terms of sound quality, number of selections,  etc.

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Yes, Hep is always worth checking out.

And "at the time" (for those not dead set on CD) the one below ("featuring seventeen clasic Gil Evans arrangements") used to be a go-to item:

https://www.discogs.com/Claude-Thornhill-Tapestries/release/11401907

Just to show what tracks you'd want to go after if you are in it for Gil Evans only and want them all in one place.

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Posted (edited)

39 minutes ago, Big Beat Steve said:

Yes, Hep is always worth checking out.

And "at the time" (for those not dead set on CD) the one below ("featuring seventeen clasic Gil Evans arrangements") used to be a go-to item:

https://www.discogs.com/Claude-Thornhill-Tapestries/release/11401907

Just to show what tracks you'd want to go after if you are in it for Gil Evans only and want them all in one place.

It was once available on cd.  I have it.  I think it does have all of the released Evans instrumental arrangements but is missing some arrangements with vocalists and a few arrangements that were only issued as transcriptions. 

Edited by medjuck

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R-11401907-1515685884-4823.jpeg.jpg

This was my first Claude Thornhill purchase (on cd as well).  I became aware of this work from  New World/s JAZZ IN REVOLUTION The Big Bands in the 1940s which featured Donna Lee.

 

 

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I second Larry and Steve's recommendations for the Hep titles--I have all eight of them.  I would love to see Mosaic do a box-set, but I doubt that Thornhill is enough of a marquee name, even among the Mosaic base, for them to risk it.  

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Thanks all.  The only CT I have is The Memorable Claude Thornhill on a 70s Columbia 2-fer LP.  The labels stay "stereo" but I will have to check to see if it's really mono and just labeled that way.  (It could also be fake stereo.)  Is this a decent comp?

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Teasing the Korean said:

Thanks all.  The only CT I have is The Memorable Claude Thornhill on a 70s Columbia 2-fer LP.  The labels stay "stereo" but I will have to check to see if it's really mono and just labeled that way.  (It could also be fake stereo.)  Is this a decent comp?

Pray it's not fake stereo.

(Is CT a typo, or something to do with Clark Terry? ;-))

Edited by Ted O'Reilly

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It's in very fine print, but it is.

EuroMusiPorn knows its place with these two:

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R-12670422-1539723061-1199.jpeg.jpg

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The Heps (I believe) are all transcriptions.    If you get them all you'll get different performances of the same arrangements.  If you have any choice make sure you get one with The Troubadour on it. 

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