Thad Jones

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Thaddeus Joseph Jones (born March 28, 1923 in Pontiac , Michigan , † August 20, 1986 in Copenhagen , Denmark ) was an American jazz trumpeter , cornet player , flugelhorn player , arranger and composer and big band leader .

Live and act

Jones was born into a musical family, one of ten children. While his father sang in the choir, his older brother Hank Jones achieved fame as a pianist and his younger brother Elvin Jones as a drummer. Thad himself learned to play the trumpet by himself. He performed professionally with Hank Jones and Sonny Stitt at the age of sixteen . Between 1943 and 1946, during the Second World War, he played in various bands in the US Army , after which he soon returned to his homeland. From 1950 to 1953 he was with his brother Elvin a member of Billy Mitchell's quintet in Detroit , with which he played at the Blue Bird Inn . He made several recordings with Charles Mingus , on whose debut label Jones' first album was created under his own name, The Fabulous Thad Jones . From 1954 to 1963 he was a member of Count Basies Orchestra, for which he also arranged; he also worked as an arranger for Harry James in the late 1950s . In 1963 he worked on the album The Individualism of Gil Evans .

Then he worked a. a. with Pepper Adams and in 1965 founded the Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Orchestra with Mel Lewis , which was an institution on the American jazz scene for the next thirteen years. The band performed with musicians such as trumpeters Bill Berry , Danny Stiles , Richard Williams , Marvin Stamm , Snooky Young and Jon Faddis , trombonists Bob Brookmeyer , Jimmy Knepper , Quentin Jackson and Benny Powell , saxophonists Jerome Richardson , Jerry Dodgion , Eddie Daniels , Joe Farrell , Pepper Adams and Billy Harper , the pianists Hank Jones, and Roland Hanna and the bassists Richard Davis and George Mraz .

At the beginning of 1978 he moved to Copenhagen, where he performed with the Danmarks Radios Big Band at the Montmartre jazz club in March and recorded his compositions Tip Toe and A Good Time Was Had by All with Danish musicians such as Jesper Thilo and Allan Botschinsky . Jones also composed for the radio big band and taught jazz at the Royal Danish Conservatory , and in 1984 he founded the band Eclipse . At the end of 1984 he was appointed head of the Count Basie Orchestra , which he had to give up due to his poor health.

Jones was considered an excellent trumpeter and improviser. Charles Mingus judged that he was "... the greatest trumpet player I've heard in this life". In later years he also emerged as a composer. Most famous was his 1969 composition and jazz standard A Child Is Born . There were also rumors that the composition was by his pianist Roland Hanna .

Discographic notes

Recordings under your own name

Recordings with the Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Orchestra



Web links


  1. ^ To Kunzler Jazzlexikon 2002, Kernfeld The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz 2002 and All Music Guide to Jazz 2002; according to other sources August 21, for example. B. Bohländer Reclams Jazzführer 1989, The Rough Guide to Jazz 2005
  2. Jazzzeitung 2003/05