Sunday, February 8, 2015

Orchestra U.S.A - The Debut Recording

This was the initial release by Orchestra U.S.A., an enterprise undertaken by pianist/composer John Lewis (of the Modern Jazz Quartet) to perform virtually any composed or improvised music, mixing top-flight instrumentalists from both jazz and classical music. It included two string quartets, large woodwind and brass sections, plus a variety of rhythm instruments. Lewis' "Three Little Feelings," expanded from its 1956 brass orchestration, features outstanding solos by alto saxophonist Phil Woods and guitarist Jim Hall. Both "Donnie's Theme" (featuring Eric Dolphy's explosive alto sax) and "Natural Affection" (featuring the composer's piano) were written by Lewis for a Broadway play by William Inge, Natural Affection. Lewis' writing for strings is breathtaking in "Milano," a work that he performed and recorded numerous times over the length of his career. Gary McFarland contributed two compositions: "Milesign," featuring another driving yet adventurous alto sax solo by Dolphy, and "Grand Encounter," an offbeat number showcasing the leader. Conductor Gunther Schuller scored the brief finale, an odd interpretation of "The Star Spangled Banner," a treacherous piece based on an old English drinking song. [Originally issued as a Colpix LP and long unavailable, this highly recommended album finally appeared as a Lone Hill Jazz CD in 2004, adding the mono takes for each selection as bonus tracks.]
Ken Dryden

Source :

Orchestra U.S.A
The Debut Recording
[Lone Hill Jazz]


1 Three Little Feelings, Pt. 1 (Lewis)  3:37
2 Three Little Feelings, Pt. 2 (Lewis)  3:32
3 Three Little Feelings, Pt. 3 (Lewis)  3:47
4 Milesign (McFarland )  5:14
5 Milano (Harden)  3:34
6 Natural Affection (Lewis)  5:33
7 Donnie's Theme (Lewis)  5:16
8 Grand Encounter (McFarland)  5:36
9 The Star Spangled Banner (Key, Smith)  1:27
10 Three Little Feelings, Pt. 1 [Mono Version] (Lewis)  3:39
11 Three Little Feelings, Pt. 2 [Mono Version] (Lewis)  3:33
12 Three Little Feelings, Pt. 3 [Mono Version] (Lewis)  3:48
13 Milesign [Mono Version] (McFarland)  5:17
14 Milano [Mono Version] (Milano)  3:38
15 Natural Affection [Mono Version] (Lewis)  5:35
16 Donnie's Theme [Mono Version] (Lewis)  5:17
17 Grand Encounter [Mono Version] (McFarland)  5:37
18 The Star Spangled Banner [Mono Version] (Key, Smith)  1:23


Featuring Eric Dolphy, Phil Woods, Leo Wright, Herb Pomeroy, Jim Hall, Richard Davis, Connie Kay, Gary McFarland, Michael Colgrass, John Lewis, etc.

Recorded in New York City ; January 12 [# 1-3] ; February 4 [# 4, 5 & 8] ; & 27 [# 6, 7 & 9], 1963


El Tortuga said...

Hi Mel! i do not quite know how to express, my language is not english. but if it comes about culture, i think you're doing an unprecedent job, along with some of your fellow blogers (i don't want to mention names). this is spreading culture, music as a fundamental way of expression, and even more than that. it is not only about music,"having records" or something. it is about human history and forthcoming, evolution and comunication. that's all man. i've said too much and i hope i made my point. thank you and all the people going for it!

Peter said...

Gracias Meliflurus!

LaroSwing said...

Great post again! Many many tha,ks Melanchthon!

woolfnotes said...
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Blue Eyes said...

Woow! thank you very much Melanchthon for this Lone Hill Jazz CD!

Bill said...

Thank you very much indeed. This again a marvellous post. No trouble with Lix-in. Thanks, Mel.

cvllos said...

Melanchthon, right now I can fix my recording on hd. Thank you!

danair said...

Thanks mel a John Lewis i've never heard.

Melanchthon said...

AmyBRAINS said...

Many thanks, Melanchthon.

glinka21 said...

Thanks, Mel, for both continuing to reissue great older material, and revitalizing items you've offered, before!

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You