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Jazz Piano Masters - Claude Thornhill

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Album Review

Although only containing 20 selections, this out-of-print two-LP set (which unfortunately does not give a personnel listing nor the recording dates although the music is programmed largely in chronological order) gives one a good retrospective of the music of Claude Thornhill's Orchestra. There is one error; "Donna Lee" is absent and in its place is a quartet track featuring the leader on piano. Otherwise the highpoints include "Snowfall," "Portrait of a Guinea Farm," "There's a Small Hotel," "Anthropology" and "Robbin's Nest." Among the key soloists are clarinetists Irving Fazola and Danny Polo, altoist Lee Konitz and trumpeter Red Rodney.


Born: 10 August 1909 in Terre Haute, IN

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s

Although some of his recordings were on the periphery of jazz and his orchestra was at its most popular in the early '40s, Claude Thornhill's main importance to jazz was the influence that his arrangements and orchestra's sound had on cool jazz of the late '40s. After studying at a music conservatory and playing piano in bands based in the Midwest, Thornhill worked for Paul Whiteman and Benny Goodman in 1934, and for Ray Noble's American band of 1935-1936 (for whom he also arranged). He appeared...
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Jazz Piano Masters - Claude Thornhill, Claude Thornhill
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