Image of Claude Thronhill at the piano.

Claude Thornhill

(Piano, composer, arranger) 1909 - 65

Claude Thornhill was born on August 10, 1909 in Terre Haute, Indiana. Following a good formal music training Thornhill eventually gravitated to New York in the early 30s. Here he encountered many of the emerging jazz stars like Goodman, Nichols, and soon was playing in such bands as Hal Kemp, Paul Whiteman and later Ray Noble.

However it was his reputation as an arranger that first brought him fame. In 1937 he arranged the Scottish folk song "Loch Lomond" and recorded it with Maxine Sullivan and it became an instant hit.

He was also active in the New York radio studios and was heard on the Saturday Night Swing Club. In 1940 he formed his first touring orchestra which he took west and played ballrooms in and around Los Angleles. Then on returning to the east coast he was promoted by the man who had helped both Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw - Si Schribman. Thornhill was booked all around the New England area and into New York including the important Glen Island Casino Ballroom. But just as the band was really getting noticed for its unusual orchestrations by Thornhill, Bill Borden and the young Gil Evans the war finally took America in and it broke up...

By mid 1942 Thornhill had enlisted in the U.S. Navy and soon found himself part of Artie Shaw's Navy Band. However as the Navy Band or The Rangers as it was called was shipping out from Pearl Harbour in January 1943 Thornhill was reassigned to Admiral Halsey's staff at Pearl.

On demobilisation in 1946 he set about reforming and many of his old personnel rejoined including Gil Evans. It was Evans closely supported by Thornhill who created the classic Thornhill sound using French horns and arrangements which seemed to suspend the ensemble chords against a subtle but swinging rhythm section including a tuba. The critics were ecstatic and when Lee Konitz joined in 1947 the band was at its peak of creativity again with Gil Evans and a young Gerry Mulligan building a great library. Unfortunately this coincided with the slow demise of touring big bands and in 1948 he disbanded again. The influence of the Thornhill band was clearly heard in the Miles Davis 1949 Capitol recordings which sounded like a Thornhill Orchestra in Miniature and it has grown in importance down the decades...

His subsequent orchestras of the late 40s and into the early fifties were first class but that innovatory spark had somewhat diminished. There was a flurry of excitment in 1953 with a session for Trend Records but thereafter Thornhill only toured spasmodically. He died the day before he was due to open a short season at the Steel Pier, Atlantic City in July, 1965.

Image of Claude Thronhill & His Orchestra.

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Image of Hep CD17 - Claude Thornhill & His Orchestra - The Song Is You



"The Song Is You"

Transcription performances featuring Gil Evans arrangements with Lee Konitz from 1948-9.

Titles - Poor Little Rich Girl / Adios / Were or When / Spanish Dance / Anthropology / Baia / Arab Dance / Robbins Nest / Royal Garden Blues / Polka Dots / There's a Small Hotel / I Knew You When / Someone to watch over Me / I Don't Know Why / April in Paris / Godchild / Begin the Beguine / The Song is You plus 4.

Price includes postage & packaging per order: £8.99

Claude Thornhill - "Godchild"

Image of Hep CD60 - Claude Thornhill & His Orchestra - The Transcription Performances 1947



"The Transcription Performances 1947"

Featuring the Gil Evans arrangement that led to the "Birth of the Cool".

Titles - Robbins' Nest / Don't Call It Love / I Knew You When / Love For Love / Polka Dots And Moonbeams / Anthropology / Early Autumn / I Get The Blues When It Rains / Snowfall / Oh You Beautiful Doll / I Remember Mama / Sorta Kinda / Cabin In The Sky / My Old Flame / At Sundown / The Happy Stranger / For Heaven's sake / Lover Man / Sunday Driving / I May Be Wrong / Poor Little Rich Girl / Butterfly (Papillon) / Sometimes I'm Happy / Hang Out The Stars In Indiana / Donna Lee / Puttin' And A Takin'.

Price includes postage & packaging per order: £8.99

Claude Thornhill - "Sunday Driving"

Image of Hep CD72 - Claude Thornhill & His Orchestra - The 1946-47 Performances Vol 1



"The 1946-47 Performances Vol 1"

The first 24 tracks by the post-war Thornhill Orchestra with arrangements by Gil Evans.

Titles - Twilight Song / Under The Willow Tree / Arab Dance / Your's Is My Heart Alone /If You Were The Only Girl In The World / It's A Pity To Say Goodnight / Twilight On The Trail / Gotta Get Me Somebody To Love / So Would I / Sonata / This Time / I Knew You When / Far Away Island / I Get The Blues When It Rains / Why Did I Have To Fall in Love With You? / A Sunday Kind of Love / We Knew It All The Time / Would You Believe Me / You're Not So Easy To Forget / Just Plain Love / Early Autumn / La Paloma / Oh You Beautiful Doll / Warsaw Concerto.

Price includes postage & packaging per order: £8.99

Claude Thornhill - "Under The Willow Tree"

Image of Hep CD74 - Claude Thornhill & His Orchestra - The 1946-47 Performances Vol 2



"The 1946-47 Performances Vol 2"

Transcription and studio performances with solos from Lee Konitz, Mickey Folus, Red Rodney, Danny Polo, Tak Takvorian. Vocals from Gene Williams and Fran Warren. Arrangements Gil Evans and Bill Borden.

Titles - Lets Go / Lodge Podge / The Troubadour / La Paloma / Adios / Love for Love / Anthropology / Sorta Kinda / I Never Loved Anyone / Lover Man / Polka Dots / Happy Stranger / Donna Lee / Silver Lining / Just About this Time / Heavens Sake / Whip Poor Will / I Remember Mama / Yardbird / Tell Me Why / Lets Call it a Day - plus 2.

Price includes postage & packaging per order: £8.99

Claude Thornhill - "Donna Lee"

Image of Hep CD80 - Claude Thornhill & His Orchestra - The 1949-53 Performances



"The 1949-53 Performances"

This collection features the latter years of the Thornhill classic style with soloists Danny Polo from 1949 and Gene Quill and Ray Norman from 1953.

Titles - Beautiful Doll / Moonlight Bay / You Go to My Head / Breezin' Along / The One I Love / See You in my Dreams / Night and Day / You Wore a Tulip / Anthropology / Autumn Nocturne / Arab Dance / Mambo Nothing / Jeru / Adios / Family Affair / Pussy Footin / Summer is Gone / Deep Purple / To Each his Own / Poor Little Rich Girl / Five Brothers / Rose of Rio Grande / When I'm with You / Rippling Stream / Puttin and Takin.

Price includes postage & packaging per order: £8.99

Claude Thornhill - "Family Affair"

Image of Hep CD1058 - Claude Thornhill & His Orchestra - Snowfall - Volume 1



"Snowfall - Volume 1"

The first 25 titles by the Claude Thornhill Orchestra with Irving Fazola from 1940-41.

Titles - Alt Wien (Old Vienna) / Love Tales / Love Of My Life / The Legend Of Old California / Bad Humour Man / I've Got A One Track Mind / The Doll Dance / Stack Of Barley / O Sole Mio / Hungarian Dance No. 5 / Traumerei / When The Lilacs Bloom Again / Do I Worry / Sleepy Serenade / Portrait Of A Guinea Farm / All I Need Is You / Over Night / Sing A Love Song / I'm Thrilled / Snowfall / Where Or When / Lovers In Glass Houses / You Were Meant For Me / Mandy Is Two / Paradise.

Price includes postage & packaging per order: £8.99

Claude Thornhill - "Portrait Of A Guinea Farm"

Image of Hep CD1060 - Claude Thornhill & His Orchestra - Autumn Nocturne - Volume 2



"Autumn Nocturne - Volume 2"


Performances from 1941-42 with Irving Fazola and the beginning of the Gil Evans era.

Titles - Jim / Concerto For Two / Moonlight Masquerade / Orange Blossom Lane / Miss You / The Bells Of San Raquel / Baby Mine / Autumn Nocturne / Where Has My Little Dog Gone / I Found You In The Rain / Ev'rything I Love / I Hate You, Darling / Rose O'Day / Somebody Nobody Loves / This Love Of Mine / Chattanooga Choo Choo / We're The Couple In The Castle / I Said No / Somebody Else Is Taking My Place / Memory Lane / Ya Lu-Blu / The Lamp Of Memory / Smiles / America, I Love You.

Price includes postage & packaging per order: £8.99

Claude Thornhill - "Where Has My Little Dog Gone"

Image of Hep CD1074 - Claude Thornhill & His Orchestra - Buster's Last Stand



"Buster's Last Stand"

Completion of Thornhill's 1941-42 output on studio and transcription performances. Solos by Rusty Dedrick, Irving Fazola, Randy Brooks, and Danny Polo with arrangements by Gill Evans.

Titles - Funiculi Funicula / Humoresque / Habanera / Pop Goes The Weasel / Stack O'Barley / Where Has My Little Dog Gone / Traumerai / I'm Thrilled / Something To Remember You By / Night And Day / Grieg's Piano Concerto / I'll Pray For You / She'll Always Remember / Count Me In / Be Careful It's My Heart / I'm Getting Tired So I Can Sleep / Buster's Last Stand / Lullabye Of The Rain / Lullabye Of The Rain (2) / There's A Small Hotel / Rock A Bye Bay / I Don't Know Why / Moonlight Bay / Stealin' Apples / Moments Like This.

Price includes postage & packaging per order: £8.99

Claude Thornhill - "Buster's Last Stand"

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