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John Lewis

Pianist, composer and arranger John Lewis, called by Leonard Feather in the famous Encyclopedia of Jazz "one of the most brilliant minds ever applied to Jazz," was born in 1920 and grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His early exposure to music from both a musical family and a succession of great musicians, including Lester Young, Duke Ellington, Paul Whiteman and Andy Kirk, among others, who toured the Southwest, launched a musical career spanning well over half a century to date.

After Lewis's return from W.W.II military service in 1945, bebop drum innovator Kenny Clarke introduced him to Dizzy Gillespie, for whose big band Lewis worked as both pianist and arranger from 1946 to 1948, helping to pioneer a big band expression of the modern jazz sound with arrangements of popular tunes and with Lewis's often-recorded composition Two Bass Hit. Through a series of performances and recordings with such artists as Charlie Parker, Lester Young and Illinois Jacquet, Lewis demonstrated a mastery of the elements of jazz and a profound understanding of the blues that would distinguish him as one of the most singular improvisers in jazz. He developed his unique gift for composition and arrangement by studying composition and theory at Manhattan School of Music during the eariy '50s. While earning his Master's degree there, he both helped form the Modern Jazz Quartet from the rhythmic nucleus of the Gillespie big band and developed a lifelong love for polyphony and counterpoint that he would subsequently experiment with in a jazz context, both through tire MJQ and as a solo pianist Lewis performed with the MJQ on many of the world's most renowned stages for 45 years, sharing performances with jazz greats such as Sonny Rollins, with symphony orchestras and with the Julliard String Quartet.

Lewis's ambitious compositional program, which was launched with his virtuosic compositions for Gillespie's big band, continued through a stream of compositions and arrangements for the Modern Jazz Quartet, for the Miles Davis groups, for Lewis's ground-breaking Orchestra U.S.A., for film, dance, theatre and symphony orchestra, for his recent recordings The Bridge Game, The Chess Game, Midnight in Paris, The Garden of Delight and Private Concert, as well as for his latest recording, Evolution, which in 1999 garnered "best jazz Compact Disc of the year" awards in the U. S. and France. All throughout, Lewis has remained justly famous as a jazz improviser and accompanist for his crisp and yet delicate, almost minimalist piano style, which blends rhythmic drive with great motivic development and understanding of the blues. The stark, chiseled features of Lewis's lines are less reminiscent of other pianists than of the great jazz trumpet and saxophone soloists who influenced his piano style, including Louis Armstrong, Harry Edison, Lester Young and Charlie Parker.

In addition to composing and playing piano, Lewis led and conducted Orchestra U.S.A., the American Jazz Orchestra and a number of chamber ensembles around the world, was the musical director of the Monterey Jazz Festival for 25 years, taught at City College of the City University of New York , and at Harvard University, and was a three-time member of the jury for the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Recognitions of Lewis's achievements extend from those for his composition, Django, which in 1956 won an award for best jazz composition of the year and was declared in a 1999 National Public Radio poll to be one of the twentieth century's most popular tunes, to his 1989 appointment by the French Culture Minister as an Offi cier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, to his 1999 award for artistic excellence from Jazz at Lincoln Center, to the honorary doctorate degrees he has received from the New England Conservatory of Music, Columbia College of Chicago, Berklee College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and from the University of New Mexico, from which he also received the Zimmerman Award for Alumnus of the Year.

John Lewis passed away in New York on March 29, 2001.


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Title Category Score Parts Time Listen
Afternoon In Paris - ** - ** -
Air For G String - ** - ** -
Alexander Fugue, The - ** - ** -
Alexander's Fugue Symphony Orchestra with Jazz Soloist(s) 25.00 R 6:00 -
And In The Beginning There Was The Blues - ** - ** -
Animal Dance - ** - **
MP3
Another P.O.V. - ** - ** -
As Long As It's About Love - ** - ** -
At the Horse Show - ** - ** -
Baseball - ** - ** -
Basic Baby Blue - ** - ** -
Beach-Head - ** - ** -
Bel (Belkis) Jazz Combos 14.95 29.95 4:00 -
Blue Dove (arr. La Paloma) - ** - ** -
Blue Necklace - ** - ** -
Blues for Mahalia - ** - ** -
Blues In A Minor - ** - ** -
Blues In B Flat - ** - ** -
Blues Milanese (a.k.a. Monday In Milan) - ** - ** -
Bridge Game, The (arr: Bach-Well Tempered Clavier-Book I and II) - * - * -
Brother Blues (aka: Gemini) - ** - ** -
Cain and Abel - ** - ** -
Canonic Fugue XII - ** - ** -
Carolina Study No. 1 - ** - ** -
Celebration, A - ** - ** -
Chess Game, The (arr: Bach-Goldberg Variations I and II) - * - * -
Cold Wind Blowing (From film - Odds Against Tomorrow) - ** - ** -
Columbine - ** - **
MP3
Concert Piece (In Memoriam) Symphony Orchestra with Jazz Soloist(s) 45.00 R 20:00 -
Concertino - ** - ** -
Cortege (From film - No Sun In Venice) - ** - ** -
Cue #9 (Judo)(From film - Odds Against Tomorrow) - ** - ** -
D & E - ** - **
MP3
Da Capo - ** - **
MP3
Dancing - ** - ** -
Danielle In The Lion's Den - ** - **
MP3
Day in Dubrovnik, A (aka: Na Dubrovacki Nacin) - ** - ** -
December, Remember - ** - ** -
Delaunay's Dilemma - ** - **
MP3
Dido's Lament (aka: When I Am Laid In Earth-Purcell) - * - * -
Distant Lovers - ** - ** -
Django Symphony Orchestra with Jazz Soloist(s) 18.95 R 6:00 -
Django Jazz Combos 14.95 29.95 5:00
MP3
Django (arr. Alf Bartles) Stage Band 50.00 incl. -
Django (arr. by G. Schuller) Jazz Combos 14.95 29.95 7:00 -
Django (arr. Peter Phillips) Concert Band 65.00 incl. -
Don't Stop This Train (arr. D Minor Fugue-Bach) - * - * -
Donnie's Twist - ** - ** -
Elemental Bach (Based on: Bach's-Brandenburg Concerto #4) - * - * -
Encounter In Cagnes Symphony Orchestra with Jazz Soloist(s) 25.00 R 12:30 -
England's Carol Symphony Orchestra with Jazz Soloist(s) 50.00 incl. 7:00 -
England's Carol (arr. Alf Bartles) Stage Band 50.00 incl. -
England's Carol (arr. Peter Phillips) Concert Band 50.00 incl. -
Exposure Jazz Combos 19.95 49.95 10:00
MP3
Fanfare (a salute to Basie) Symphony Orchestra 19.95 R 5:00 -
Fanfare 1 & 2 - ** - ** -
Fanfare for a Festival Music For Brass 19.95 24.95 2:30 -
Festival Sketch - ** - ** -
Festivals, The - ** - ** -
Finale - ** - **
MP3
Fontessa - ** - ** -
For Ellington - ** - ** -
Fountain, The - ** - ** -
Fugato - ** - ** -
Fugue For Music Inn, A - ** - ** -
Fugue In A Minor (Sascha) - ** - ** -
Games - ** - ** -
Gates of Harvard Chamber Orchestra 25.00 R 12:00 -
Gemini (aka: Brother Blues) - ** - ** -
Goodbye To Love - ** - ** -
Greensleeves (arr: Traditional) - ** - ** -
Harlequin - ** - **
MP3
Home (aka: Today) - ** - ** -
Hornpipe for the Queen - * - * -
If I Were Eve - ** - ** -
In A Crowd - ** - **
MP3
In Memoriam - Concert Piece for 2 Pianos Piano Music 39.95 --- 20:00 -
Inflection and Conception On A Rhythm - ** - ** -
Ingram's Theme (From film - Odds Against Tomorrow) - ** - ** -
J.B. Blues - ** - ** -
Jasmine Tree - ** - **
MP3
JATAP La Conga - ** - ** -
Jazz Ostinato Symphony Orchestra with Jazz Soloist(s) 14.95P R 6:00 -
Kansas City Breaks Symphony Orchestra with Jazz Soloist(s) 20.00 R 7:00 -
Kemek (music from) - ** - ** -
Kilo Stone - ** - ** -
La Cantarice - ** - ** -
La Ronde - ** - **
MP3
Lament - ** - ** -
Land Of Enchantment Music For Brass R R 15:00 -
Le Cannet - ** - ** -
Lela - ** - ** -
Leonard Lamb - ** - ** -
Little David's Fugue - ** - ** -
Love Me - ** - ** -
Lyonhead - ** - ** -
Mahalia (music from) - ** - ** -
Majesty of the Sun, The - * - * -
Marchin' - ** - ** -
Midnight In Paris - ** - ** -
Milano Jazz Combos 14.95 29.95 5:00
MP3
Milano Symphony Orchestra with Jazz Soloist(s) 18.95 R 6:00 -
Milano Galleria - ** - ** -
Mirjana Of My Heart - ** - ** -
Monday In Milan (a.k.a. Blues Milanese) - ** - **
MP3
Morning In Paris, A - ** - ** -
Morpheus - ** - ** -
N.Y. 19 Jazz Combos 14.95 29.95 7:00 -
Natural Affection - ** - ** -
Natural Affection, Show Me The - ** - ** -
News Of The Day - ** - ** -
Nina - ** - ** -
No Happiness for Slater (From film - Odds Against Tomorrow) - ** - ** -
No One Knows - ** - ** -
No Sun In Venice (aka: Sait-On-Jamais - Film Score) - 14.95 - ** -
Odds Against Tomorrow - Film Score - ** - ** -
One Never Knows (From film - No Sun In Venice) - ** - ** -
One! Of Parker's Moods - ** - ** -
Original Sin (a ballet) Symphony Orchestra R R 24:00 -
P.O.V. - ** - ** -
Piazza Navona Music For Brass 19.95 29.95 6:30 -
Piece for Piano & Jazz Band Music For Big Band 39.95 R 5:00 -
Pierrot - ** - **
MP3
Plastic Dreams - ** - ** -
Polchinella - ** - ** -
Portrait For Woodwind Quintet - ** - ** -
Precious Joy - ** - ** -
Prelude No. 8 - ** - ** -
Promenade In Paris - ** - ** -
Provencaliana (Based on: March of the Kings) - * - * -
Regret - ** - ** -
Relays - ** - ** -
Ricercar A 6 - ** - ** -
Rise Up In The Morning - ** - ** -
Romance - ** - ** -
Rose Truc, The (From film - No Sun In Venice) - ** - ** -
Rouge Jazz Combos 19.95 39.95 4:30 -
S'il Vous Plait - ** - ** -
Sachas March - ** - **
MP3
Saint-Germain-Des-Pre - ** - ** -
Sait-On-Jamais - Film Score (aka: No Sun In Venice) - ** - ** -
Sammy - ** - ** -
Say When - ** - ** -
Sheriff, The - ** - **
MP3
Silver - ** - ** -
Singer, The - ** - ** -
Skating In Central Parl (From film: Odds Against Tomorrow) - ** - ** -
Sketch Symphony Orchestra with Jazz Soloist(s) 20.00 R 6:00
MP3
Sketch for Double Quartet Chamber Music (Also Small Jazz Ensemble) 9.95P - 6:00 -
Social Call, A (From film: Odds Against Tomorrow) - ** - ** -
Song For The Dreamer - ** - ** -
Spanish Steps (Piazza de Spagna) - ** - ** -
Sumadija - ** - ** -
Sun Dance Jazz Combos 29.95 34.95 4:00 -
Swiss Blue - ** - ** -
Tales of the Willow Tree Symphony Orchestra R R 10:00 -
Tears From The Children - ** - ** -
That Slavic Smile - ** - ** -
That! Afternoon In Paris - ** - ** -
The Comedy (excerpts from) Music For Brass 15.95P R 19:30 -
The Comedy (excerpts from) Music For Big Band 39.95 R 18:00 -
The Golden Striker Music For Brass 9.95P R 4:30 -
The Milanese Story Chamber Music (Also Small Jazz Ensemble) 30.00 R 20:00 -
The Queen's Fancy Symphony Orchestra with Jazz Soloist(s) 60.00 incl. 5:00
MP3
The Queen's Fancy (arr. Peter Phillips) Concert Band 65.00 incl. -
The Spiritual Symphony Orchestra with Jazz Soloist(s) 14.95P R 7:00 -
Three Jazz Moods (arr. Peter Phillips) Concert Band 65.00 incl. -
Three Little Feelings Music For Big Band 39.95 R 45:00 -
Three Little Feelings Music For Brass 25.00 R 11:00 -
Three Windows Symphony Orchestra with Jazz Soloist(s) 25.00 R 7:30 -
Time For Tears - ** - ** -
Today (a.k.a. Home) - ** - ** -
Trav'lin' - ** - ** -
Trieste - ** - ** -
Trip, The - ** - ** -
Two Bass Hit - ** - ** -
Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West Jazz Combos 14.95 29.95 8:30
MP3
Valeria - ** - **
MP3
Variant For Piano & String Quartet Chamber Music (Also Small Jazz Ensemble) 25.00 65.00 15:00 -
Variations On A Christmas Theme - ** - ** -
Vendome - ** - **
MP3
Venice (From film: No Sun In Venice) - ** - ** -
Versailles, (Porte de) - ** - ** -
Visitor From Mars - ** - ** -
Visitor From Mercury - ** - ** -
Visitor From Venus - ** - ** -
Walking Stomp - ** - ** -
When I Am Laid In Earth (a.k.a. Dido's Lament) - ** - ** -
Winter Tale - ** - **
MP3

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