The Danish Radio Big Band (DR Big Band), often referred to as the Radioens Big Band is a jazz big band founded in Copenhagen in 1964, when the Copenhagen jazz scene was particularly active, and the city was regularly visited by prominent jazz artists from the USA. Originally called The New Radio Dance Orchestra, in the early years the band was led by Ib Glindemann. But over the next few decades many new faces joined – a succession of striking bandleaders, musicians and guest soloists such as Chris Potter - all of whom helped to develop the band into the experienced ensemble whose record releases and concerts have a devoted following all over the world. Leaders like Thad Jones, Bob Brookmeyer and Jim McNeely, and guest soloists like Miles Davis, Stan Getz and Joe Henderson – along with numerous Danish jazz musicians – were able to make the DR Big Band the institution that Ernie Wilkins said was “probably the best band in Europe.”
This 72-minute (ten tunes) session was recorded live at the Montmartre jazz club in Copenhagen in 1978. Five of the ten tunes are written by Thad Jones; the rest include compositions by Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington and the Gershwin Brothers. The Danish Radio Big Band is comprised of the best Danish musicians plus two American stars - Idrees Sulieman on trumpet and Richard Boone on trombone - who were living in Copenhagen at the time. Thad Jones' compositions are a mix of power and eloquence; a unique style which made him world famous. The two years during which Thad Jones was chief conductor of the Danish Radio Big Band (1977,78) are considered the best in the Radio Big Band's illustrious forty-year history.World-renowned bassist on this gig, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen has this to day about playing with Thad Jones: "… this is the culmination of thirteen years … working in this band. This is what this band is capable of sounding like!" And the drummer, Bjarne Rostvold had this to say: "… he was able to inspire us with his energy, his ability to improvise through body movements. His performance as a conductor was always something special. He made the band play better than ever."