10 August 1909, Terra Haute, Indiana, USA, d. 1 July 1965, New York City, New York, USA. Thornhill studied piano formally, playing jazz with a friend, Danny Polo. In the early 30s he was resident in New York City, playing with Hal Kemp, Don Voorhees, Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman and many other leaders. In the mid-30s he worked with Ray Noble and André Kostelanetz. Later in the decade he was busily writing arrangements for several bands and singers, and one song recorded by Maxine Sullivan (Loch Lomond) was a huge hit. His successes for others led him to form his own band, hiring emerging talents such as Lee Konitz, Red Rodney and Gerry Mulligan, while his arranging staff included Gil Evans, who would later frequently assert how much his time with Thornhill had influenced his writing.
In his 1940 band Thornhill sought perfect intonation from his musicians and balance between the sections. He urged his sidemen to eliminate...
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