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Thad Jones
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    (March 28, 1923-August 21, 1986)
    Born in Pontiac, Michigan
    Jazz trumpeter, arranger and bandleader
    Member of the Count Basie Orchestra (1954-63)
    Co-leader of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra (1965-78)
    With Mel Lewis, recorded the albums 'Presenting Thad Jones/Mel Lewis and the Jazz Orchestra' (1966), 'Monday Night' (1968), 'Consummation' (1970), 'Suite for Pops' (1972), 'Potpourri' (1974), 'Greetings and Salutations' (1975), 'It Only Happens Every Time' (1977) and 'A Touch of Class' (1978)
    Solo recorded the albums 'The Magnificent Thad Jones' (1956), 'Mad Thad' (1957), 'Live at Montmarte' (1978) and 'Eclipse' (1979)
    Composed the standard 'A Child Is Born'
    Brother of drummer Elvin Jones and pianist Hank Jones
    He was one of 10 children.
    His collaboration with Mel Lewis ended when he moved, without notice or explanation, to Copenhagen.
    He returned to the US to take leadership of the Count Basie Orchestra following Basie's death, but stepped down due to poor health in less than a year (1985-86).
    He was self-taught.
    He played with a US Army band during WWII.
    He won Down Beat magazine's New Star award (1956).
    After first seeing him in concert, Charles Mingus declared, 'I just heard the greatest trumpet player that I've ever heard in this life. He uses all the classical techniques, and is the first man to make them swing.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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