The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band visited Scandinavia a couple of times and was a sensation. Later when Mel Lewis and Thad Jones had some difficulties Thad got an offer from the Danish Radio Big Band where his first season was (1977-78). Thad Jones wanted to play his own music and played as many as ten radio broadcasts per year at the Montmartre Club. At the same time he also started up his own big band, Eclipse, with his own repertoire, based at Jazzhus Slukefter in the Tivoli Garden. On this double CD you can hear both orchestras. There are many American musicians in the bands: Idrees Sulieman (tp) and Richard Boone (tb & vo) Tim Hagans (tp) Horace Parlan (p) Ed Thigpen (dr) Sahib Shihab (saxes) Emmanuel Rahim (congas) all living in Copenhagen at the time.
CD 1: The Danish Radio Big Band with Benny Rosenfeld, Palle Bolvig, Idrees Sulieman, Allan Botschinsky, Perry Knudsen (tp), Vincent Nilsson, Erling Kroner (tb), Richard Boone (tb & vo), Ole Kurt Jensen (b-tb), Alex Windfeld (b-tb & tuba), Jesper Thilo (ss,as & flute), Per Carsten Petersen (ss, as & flute), Flemming Madsen (bs,bcl & cl), Ole Kock Hansen (p & rhodes), Bo Sylvén (gui), Neils-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (b & el-b), Bjarne Rostvold (dr), Ethan Weisgard (congas & perc.) and Thad Jones (co & leader)
CD 2: The Eclipse Big Band with Erik Tschentscher, Tim hagans, Lars Togeby, Egon Petersen, Jan Glæsel (tp), Ture Larsen, Axel Windfeld, Bjarne Thanning , Niels Neergard, Palle Jensen, Bill Beecroft, Jens Engel, Richard boone (tb), Ole Thøger Nielsen, Jorgen Nilsson, Michael Hove, Bent Jædig, Sahib Shihab, Jesper Nehammer (sax), Horace Parlan (p), Nicolai Gromin (g), Jesper Lundgaard (b), Ed Thigpen, Bjarne Rostvold (dr), Emmanuel Khaliq Rahim (congas). Not all personnel are featured on all tracks, see cd sleeve for details.
CD 1 is a radio broadcast live from the Montmartre club with the The Danish Radio Big Band recorded March 21 & 22, 1978
CD 2 is recorded live at the Slukefter Club, Tivoli, September 15 & 16, 1980 and a studio recording recorded September 17 & 18, 1979.
****RINGER OF THE WEEK****Thad Jones & Eclipse: The Danish Radio Big Band
by George W. Harris, orignal article: http://www.jazzweekly.com/2013/08/ringer-of-the-weekthad-jones-eclipse-the-danish-radio-big-band/
Besides being the co-leader of the Famed Jones-Lewis Orchestra, the director of The Count Basie Orchestra and the producer of countless cooking small group sessions, trumpeter/composer/arranger Thad Jones had a career in Denmark as the head of The Danish Radio Big Band; these sessions from 1978 to 1980 show that this mix of ex-pats and Europeans were able to produce some of the finest music you’d ever want to come across. Mixing his allegiance to Basie’s sense of swing and the blues as well as modern thought, Jones’ material here is on a par with contemporary orchestras like Akyoshi-Tabackin or his own band with Mel Lewis. It’s that excellent.
Americans such as Idrees Sulieman/tp, Horace Parlan/p, Sahib Shihab/as, Tim Hagans/tp and Ed Thigpen/dr dot the orchestras that also include impressive members such as Jesper Thilo/sax, Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen/b Ole Kock Hansen/p and Bent Jaedig/ts. The ’78 concert at Montmartre has a fantastically hip reading of “Tip Toe” wit Sulieman sounding superb, and a take of “ Daydream” that has Thilo creating some heavy REM activity. Jones’ charts, as on “61st And Rich’It” have an infectious and irresistible swing to them, but with sharp hairpin turns that keep you hanging onto the handlebars. The Studio tracks from ’79 and concert material from ’80 have a bit more of a straight-ahead bluesy feel, with “Basically Yours” and “Scrapple From The Apple” getting down to jazz’s essentials. Parlan’s “Arrival” and Jones’ “My Centennial” sizzle and percolate like grilled onions on a mobile grill on Olviera Street. Scrumptious music, and a feast from heaven for fans of Big Band jazz.
Jones' 1970s Scandinavian period led to some fine work, examplified by three sessions here - the Parlan/Lundgaard/Thigpen of Eclipse taking the highlight honours.
- Alyn Shipton