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Claude Thornhill & His Orchestra


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Claude Thornhill (born August 10, 1909 at Terre Haute, Indiana died July 1, 1965, New York City) was an American pianist, arranger and bandleader. As a youth, he was recognized as an extraordinary talent and formed a traveling duo with Danny Polo, a musical prodigy on the clarinet and trumpet from nearby Clinton, Indiana. As a student at Garfield High School in Terre Haute, he played with several theater bands.

After playing for Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman, Ray Noble, and Billie Holiday, and arranging “Loch Lomond” and “Annie Laurie” for Maxine Sullivan, in 1940 he founded his Claude Thornhill Orchestra. Danny Polo was his lead clarinet player. Although the Thornhill band was originally a sophisticated dance band it became known for its many superior jazz musicians and for Thornhill’s and Gil Evans’ innovative arrangements; its “Portrait of a Guinea Farm” has become a classic jazz recording.

The band played without vibrato so that the timbres of the instruments could be better appreciated, and Thornhill encouraged the musicians to develop cool-sounding tones. The band was popular with both musicians and the public; the Miles Davis Nonet was modelled in part on Thornhill’s cool sound. The band’s most successful records were “Snowfall,” “A Sunday Kind of Love,” and “Love for Love.”

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  • albertovilaorti

    Claude Hopkins nació en 1909 y murio en 1965. Tuvo una banda excelente, como lo fueron él mismo y sus otros arregladores, entre ellos Gil Evans y Gerry Mulligan. Esuchando algunos de sus registros se comprende que no tuviera demasiado éxito: sonaba demasiado bien para que se lo comprendiera en comparación a las otras bandas. Trataba de que sus intérpretes eliminaran todo vibrato e incorporó trompas o cornos franceses a la orquesta. Diríamos que fue adelantado en la manera que encaraba la forma de sus interpretaciones. Gil Evans, al recordarlo decía que estaba en deuda con Thornhill por lo que aprendió en la época que ustuvo con él. Lee Konitz y Red Rodney estuvieron con la orquesta en tiempos en que Gil Evans es el arreglador. Gary Vila Ortiz. Rosario. Argentina.

    25 Mar 2010 Reply
  • PappaWheelie

    Hung Like a Cloud

    13 Dec 2009 Reply

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