Vacationing in Santa Barbara, Ojai and environs does not preclude observing Thad Jones’s 90th birthday. There’s no better way to do that than with Thad conducting the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra’s extraordinary version of Jerome Richardson’s “The Groove Merchant.” This is from a European tour probably in the fall of 1969—not ’68, as YouTube indicates.
The reed section: Joe Henderson, Jerry Dodgion, Jerome Richardson, Eddie Daniels, Pepper Adams.
Trumpets: Snooky Young, Danny Moore, Al Porcino, Richard Williams.
Trombones: Eddie Bert, Astley Fennell, Jimmy Knepper, Cliff Heather.
Rhythm: Mel Lewis, drums; Roland Hanna, piano; Richard Davis, bass.
Conductor: Thad Jones.
Be alert for the shot of Snooky at 2:35, enjoying Hanna’s three-minute piano introduction. Who wouldn’t? This got enormous response when I posted it three years ago. Let’s see if it still works.