Claude Thornhill born August 10, 1909 at Terre Haute, Indiana. Died July 1, 1965, New York City. American pianist, arranger and bandleader. Although the Thornhill band was originally a sophisticated dance band it became known for its many superior jazz musicians and for Thornhill's and Gil Evans' innovative arrangements. The band ceased operation in 1942 when Thornhill entered the military, where he performed with Artie Shaw's United States Navy band, then was revived from 1946 to 1948 in New York and until 1953 on the road. In the mid 1950s Thornhill became Tony Bennett's musical director briefly, then toured with small groups.