|Thad Jones |
An American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader.
Thad Jones was a self taught musician, performing professionally by the age of sixteen. He served in U.S. Army bands during World War II (1943-46).
After the war, Thad Jones continued his professional music career, eventually winding up with Count Basie in 1954, for whom he arranged, composed, and performed.
He stayed with Basie for nine years. Thad achieved critical acclaim during this time, but not for his work with Basie.
Much of Jones's music was stylistically original and didn't always fit in with the Basie group which he left in 1963. In the early sixties he became a free lance arranger and performer in the New York area.
In 1965, he and drummer Mel Lewis formed the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band. The group initially began with informal late night jam sessions amongst New York's top studio musicians.
The group eventually began performing at the Village Vanguard, to wide acclaim, and continued with Jones in the lead for twelve years. They won a 1978 Grammy Award for their album Live in Munich.
One of the more notable albums he made in this regard is Suite for Pops recorded on the A&M Records "Horizon".
In 1978, Thad suddenly moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, (to the great surprise of his New York band mates), where several other American jazz musicians had gone to live. There, he formed a new band Eclipse, composed for The Danish Radio Big Band and taught jazz at the Royal Danish Conservatory in Copenhagen.
Jones came back to the U.S. to lead the Count Basie Orchestra but had to step down due to ill health. He returned to his home in Copenhagen for the last few months of his life. He died on August 21, 1986.
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