Claude Thornhill Orchestra

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  • LA PALOMA

    The Claude Thornhill Orchestra was moderately successful before WWII, and after the war, Thornhill re-formed the orchestra with Gil Evans as chief arranger and now musical director. The original instrumentation of the band in 1946 was 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, 5 reeds and rhythm section. By the time La Paloma was arranged in June of 1947, the brass section now consisted of 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, tuba, 5 reeds and rhythm. The source for this publication is Evans's original score. It must have been arranged during the transition period when the band lost a trumpet and trombone, as most of the score includes parts for these instruments, as well as a sixth reed. Unfortunately, in re-scoring parts of the arrangement for this reduced brass section, Evans threw out 2 pages of score and re-scored these bars; the additional trumpet, trombone and reed are not here. For that reason, it is now difficult to restore these parts, and we have not attempted to do this. Learn More
  • MOON DREAMS

    This arrangement has been published from the original autograph score and is authorized by the Estate of Gil Evans. This is not a transcription. This is a very complex arrangement full dense, lush voicings and difficult rhythms. Gil later modified this arrangement for the Miles Davis 'Birth of the Cool' session. This arrangement was recently recorded by the Dutch Jazz Orchestra on their 2008 CD titled 'Moon Dreams: Rediscovered Music of Gil Evans and Gerry Mulligan.' Learn More
  • Robbins Nest

    If I were asked to name a piece where it seemed like the ensemble was going to explode but never does, I would immediately think of this arrangement. The Thornhill Orchestra was known as an ensemble that featured extreme contrasts in dynamics, from very soft to loud (Thornhill gave interviews about how he admired the Glenn Miller Orchestra for its dynamic control, and how he sought to imitate it). Learn More

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