My intention was to create something new and arresting, an orchestra different from others on the scene – I wrote sixty arrangements to start with.
We rehearsed every afternoon, rain or shine. Perfect intonations in the sections and balance of the overall sound of the orchestra were emphasized.
With the exception of certain places in our arrangements, the orchestra played without vibrato. Vibrato was used to heighten expressiveness.
It seems to me that touch and tone are pretty much overlooked by pianists who are leading bands nowadays. You can get so many more and better musical effects if you pay attention to those little, shall I say, niceties.
— Claude Thornhill
Charlton Price says
Who are some pianists who have answered Thornhill’s plea to pay attention to “the little niceties”?
My nominees: Bill Evans, George Shearing, Andre Previn, Jimmy Rowles, Hampton Hawes, Teddy Wilson, Roland Hanna, Tommy Flanagan…
Larry Kart says
Talk about intonation, those brass chords that begin at the 58 second mark of “Snowfall” are something else. A peculiar thrill those voicings and that execution create, akin to Debussy’s “La Mer,” in that the orchestra doesn’t so much evoke the blur of falling show or (in “La Mer”) the surge of the waves as much as those natural events seem to invade and transform the orchestra.