Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Orchestra – All My Yesterdays (2016) [AcousticSounds DSF DSD128/5.64MHz]

Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Orchestra – All My Yesterdays: The Debut 1966 Recordings at the Village Vanguard (2016)
DSF Stereo DSD128, 1 bit/5,6 MHz | Time – 01:04:57 minutes | 9,6 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: AcousticSounds | Booklet, Front Cover | ©  2xHD/Resonance Records
Recorded live February 7 and March 21, 1966 at The Village Vanguard, New York City

A thrilling, thoughtfully curated two-disc collection, Resonance Records’ All My Yesterdays presents the debut 1964 performances of the innovative Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. Recorded by Resonance Records founder George Klabin, then a 19-year-old college sophomore, jazz radio DJ, and budding sound engineer at Columbia University, these recordings showcase the band in two uproariously received performances at the legendary Village Vanguard, their home for 50 years and counting. Initially intended as a way to attract a record deal for the band, the tracks have remained largely unheard by the general public. Here, they are presented in full with a detailed liner-notes booklet featuring pictures, essays, and interviews with Klabin and others. Recorded by Klabin alone, using minimal equipment by modern standards, with only the musicians themselves to help move microphones as needed, the recordings sound remarkably clear and capture the electric atmosphere of the band’s debut. Highlighted by Jones’ bop-oriented trumpet solos and grounded by Lewis’ rhythm section featuring pianist Hank Jones, guitarist Sam Herman, and bassist Richard Davis, the orchestra was a lithe, forward-thinking yet always swinging entity that helped move large ensembles into the post-bop era. It also didn’t hurt that the band was populated with a cross-generational cadre of virtuoso musicians including saxophonists Joe Farrell, Pepper Adams and Eddie Daniels; trumpeters Jimmy Owens and Snooky Young; trombonist Bob Brookmeyer; and others. All of this is quite evident on these recordings, which put you front and center at the Village Vanguard on February 7, 1966 as saxophonist Jerry Dodgion soulfully leads the band into an explosive version of Jones’ swinging, gospel-inflected blues “Back Bone.” From that moment onward the band rarely lets up, with Lewis driving the arrangements with his roiling, foot-tapping pulse and Jones calling out solos and improvised background phrases. The second disc of music, recorded March 21, 1966, features an equally captivating performance from the band and a longer set list, including dynamic versions of “Low Down,” “Ah, That’s Freedom,” “Mean What You Say,” and more. While the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra has an extensive oeuvre of recorded music to enjoy, All My Yesterdays captures the band at its brilliant, joyous start. –AllMusic Review by Matt Collar


Recorded February 7, 1966:
1. Back Bone 12:53
2. All My Yesterdays 04:30
3. Big Dipper 05:50
4. Mornin Reverend 04:37
5. The Little Pixie 15:25
6. Big Dipper (Alternate Take) 07:24

Recorded March 21, 1966:
7. Low Down 04:35
8. Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?) 05:18
9. Ah, Thats Freedom 10:04
10. Dont Ever Leave Me 04:27
11. Willow Weep For Me 06:14
12. Once Around 12:49
13. Polka Dots and Moonbeams 03:53
14. Mornin Reverend 05:44
15. All My Yesterdays 04:19
16. Back Bone 12:44

Thad Jones, flugelhorn
Mel Lewis, drums
Hank Jones, piano
Richard Davis, bass
Sam Herman, guitar
Jerome Richardson, alto & soprano saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute
Jerry Dodgion, alto saxophone
Joe Farrell, tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute
Eddie Daniels, tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet
Pepper Adams, baritone saxophone
Snooky Young, Jimmy Owens, Bill Berry, Jimmy Nottingham, trumpet
Bob Brookmeyer, Jack Rains, Garnett Brown, Cliff Heather, trombone