Trumpets: Earl Gardner (Lead), Joe Mosello, Glenn Drewes, Scott Wendholt Trombones: John Mosca (Lead), Ed Neumeister, Jason Jackson, Douglas Purviance (bass trombone) Reeds: Dick Oatts (Lead alto and soprano saxophones, flute), Billy Drewes (alto and soprano Saxophones, Flute, Clarinet), Rich Perry (tenor saxophone, flute), Ralph LaLama (tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute), Gary Smulyan (baritone saxophone) Rhythm Section: Jim McNeely, piano; John Riley, drums; Dennis Irwin, bass A-Thats Freedom, Once Around, Quiet Lady, Central Park North, Your and Mine, Fingers, Groove Merchant, All My Yesterdays, My Centennial The Vanguard Jazz Orchestras second outing on New World features the music of its co-founder, Thad Jones (1923-1986), a man whom Mingus spoke of as the greatest trumpeter that Ive heard in this life. After a lengthy tenure with the Basie band, he co-founded, with Mel Lewis, the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, which made its debut at the Village Vanguard on February 7, 1966. Thirty three years later, in its current incarnation as The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, it continues to wow audiences every Monday night at its hallowed home. Joness big-band compositions, especially post-Basie, employed similar rhythmic lines with astringent block-chord voicings demanding great virtuosity from the performers. They also incorporated some of the more recent freedoms of small-group work and set new standards for the next generation of composers, arrangers, and performers. The nine charts feature a beautiful mix of ballads ["Quiet Lady," "Yours and Mine," "All My Yesterdays"] and hard-charging numbers ["A-Thats Freedom," "Once Around," "My Centennial"]. Central Park North is a wonderful blend of things-dissonance with swiveling hips. The fourteen-minute showstopper, Fingers, is a springboard for a series of flying solos based on the chord changes of Gershwins I Got Rhythm. As such, it has an impressive pedigree: Duke Ellingtons Cotton Tail, with its landmark solo by Ben Webster, was based on I Got Rhythm too, and Jones proves himself worthy of comparison to the master with a saxophone chorus as breathtaking as Ellington and Websters (but with a soprano lead-a typical Jones touch). Loving, fresh, and above all, SWINGING interpretations-executed with the customary panache-which honor the bands glorious tradition and confirm its status as the paragon among todays big bands.