The format of the big band was kept alive in the hard-bop era mainly by
black trumpeter Thad Jones (1923), who had played in Count Basie's Orchestra
from 1954 till 1963. He teamed up with white drummer Mel Lewis, who had played
in Stan Kenton's orchestra from 1954 till 1957, and formed a big band in 1966.
Jones provided their signature tunes and the arrangements:
Mean What You Say (may 1966) on the first album,
A Child Is Born on their best album, Consummation (may 1970),
and Central Park North (july 1969) from the eponymous album.
Jones died in 1986.