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medjuck

Lucky Thompson New York City 1964-65

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I know this has been discussed in a thread devoted to Thompson but not much was said about this specific release. I'm very impressed by it.

I'm not that familiar with Thompson's work. I think that the only recordings I have of him are Milt Jackson cds on which he's a sideman, though I really liked his work on those. This newly released 2 cd set consists of 2 performances: one with an octet in a 1964 concert and the other with a quartet at The Half Note a year later.

The "Jazz on Broadway" concert is very ambitious, all original compositions, the writing at times reminding me of Mingus.

The brochure includes a review of the Little Theater concert by Whitney Balliett which states that "Thompson's style is the best possible distillation of the styles of Webster and Byas." But especially on the 1965 cd his work on tenor at times reminded me much more of Lester Young. Is he not usually considered a disciple of Prez?

Edited by medjuck

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FWIW, both the Thompson Uptown and quite a nice retrospective of Nathan Davis' recording career between 1964 and 1976 are available on eMusic.

Up over and out.

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The brochure includes a review of the Little Theater concert by Whitney Balliett which states that "Thompson's style is the best possible distillation of the styles of Webster and Byas." But especially on the 1965 cd his work on tenor at times reminded me much more of Lester Young. Is he not usually considered a disciple of Prez?

Lucky's sound has the lightness of Prez, but the rhapsodic phrasing of Hawk - very much his own hybrid.

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I don't find his tone quite as light as Prez's but every so often I hear a phrase that sounds very much like that of latter day Prez. However, yes he often uses those rhapsodic Hawkins phrases too.

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Thompson's single most obvious influence is Byas IMO. After that there is a general Hawkins influence. Prez I don't hear much at all, certainly he can't be classified as a Prez disciple.

The Byas/Thompson strain can then clearly be detected in Benny Golson's playing.

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I must admit the most Lucky Thompson I know is from the 40´s until 1954 and it sure as that Don Byas Thing.

But I heard and saw Lucky Thompson on a Paris Jam with the Bud Powell Trio doing "Anthropology" and was quite astonished he sounded much more like Prez than on earlier stuff, so maybe that´s how he started to change his style a bit.

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Gheorge, you have to check out at least some later Thompson! For the fifties, I guess the best are the Paris dates (with Solal or Renaud), the Savoy albums (and one on Atlantic) with Milt Jackson, or the great material out on Impulse (and now pirated by Lonehill and/or Fresh Sound), two albums with trio/quintets on a CD, and another CD wtih two Oscar Pettiford albums featuring Lucky, Gigi Gryce and others in a slighly smaller than usual big band.

For the sixties, there are "Lucky Strikes!", his two Tivoli albums (some with organ, though not the greatest organ playing you'll hear) out on a Fresh Sound twofer, or this new Uptown release.

Thompson's sound changed a lot, and somehow - as niko observed - the soprano got harder and fuller in sound, and the tenor got lusher and softer, as the years passed. There's some mighty fine playing on both horns on the Uptown package!

A little note on the Uptown: isn't it strange that there are several columns of "footnotes", but no numbers to link them in the text? Also the booklet of my set isn't fold straight. And the booklet is so big, it will eventually be damaged, no matter how careful you may get it out of the jewel case... some sloppy production in the finishing there, if you ask me... a pity, as this is such a great set, musically!

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A little note on the Uptown: isn't it strange that there are several columns of "footnotes", but no numbers to link them in the text? Also the booklet of my set isn't fold straight. And the booklet is so big, it will eventually be damaged, no matter how careful you may get it out of the jewel case... some sloppy production in the finishing there, if you ask me... a pity, as this is such a great set, musically!

I wrote the essay on Lucky Thompson found in the booklet that accompanies the CD. I can assure everyone that what I submitted had endnote numbers. If anyone needs any further information or has comments on or corrections to what I wrote, please contact me directly:

cohens2@mindspring.com

Thanks. Noal

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He takes a couple of breaththaking solos in The Modern Jazz Society's "Presents a Concert of Contemporary Music":

Modern.jpg

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I seem to recall reading somewhere that when Lucky Thompson was in the Basie band he fell out of favour with his fellow band members for being critical of Lester Young's playing. I've always felt that Lucky Thompson's principal influence was Don Byas. I don't hear any Pres in his work.

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Is he not usually considered a disciple of Prez?

If you listen to early Lucky Thompson, for example, the 1947 recording of Just One More Chance for RCA, there is little Pres, in my opinion. It's very much Webster/Byas/Hawkins/Berry. His playing definitely evolved over the years. By the mid-1960s he had developed a unique approach on both tenor and soprano that is not clearly derived from any one player. But his sound was quite different from Trane or Rollins, much lighter and in that sense there is a connection to Pres.

Going back to my earlier post regarding the lack of end note numbers in the essay I wrote for the new Uptown CD, I neglected to take at least partial responsibility for what happened. To make a long story short, in retrospect, my submission was not formatted ideally for a CD booklet.

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I wrote my post about Lucky and Prez right after listening to "Strike Up the Band" where he seemed to use phrases and "swoops" that reminded me of Lester.

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Is he not usually considered a disciple of Prez?

Going back to my earlier post regarding the lack of end note numbers in the essay I wrote for the new Uptown CD, I neglected to take at least partial responsibility for what happened. To make a long story short, in retrospect, my submission was not formatted ideally for a CD booklet.

I wouldn't worry , as a huge LT fan I found it a most interesting essay. There seems to be very little written about Lucky and what there is seems mainly to add little to the, talented but difficult character who played with everyone especially Martial Solal then withdrew from the scene altogether, repeated in most of the potted bios I've seen on Thompson.

Edited by Clunky

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Is he not usually considered a disciple of Prez?

Going back to my earlier post regarding the lack of end note numbers in the essay I wrote for the new Uptown CD, I neglected to take at least partial responsibility for what happened. To make a long story short, in retrospect, my submission was not formatted ideally for a CD booklet.

I wouldn't worry , as a huge LT fan I found it a most interesting essay. There seems to be very little written about Lucky and what there is seems mainly to add little to the, talented but difficult character who played with everyone especially Martial Solal then withdrew from the scene altogether, repeated in most of the potted bios I've seen on Thompson.

Yes, I enjoyed reading the essay a lot as well!

It's just that I've been dealing with too many of these formal issues and I don't quite get it why some never get it right, so I was wondering a bit what happened there. But probably I was most annoyed about the fact that the thick CD booklet of the set I got wasn't fold straight and in the middle... I guess I'm anal, but hey, I love the music, and that's the most important thing about this release, of course!

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Ordered this last week. Should be here today.

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I heard him play at the Half Note in New York around this time (shortly before he recorded "Lucky Strikes"), a quartet. He was always a favorite of mine. Check out his work with Oscar Pettiford!

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Slept on this one for too long...slept is not the right world, I was oblivious to its existence. But started in on it today. CD 1 is excellent beyond words. Thompson's soprano playing is really in a class of its own. A totally unique sound, and intonation that would make a strobe tuner freeze in its tracks.

wf3ybqevipfuqz4wp4i7.jpg

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Interesting this comes up now. Though my name isn't anywhere on the package, I worked on this project for a couple of years.

Edited by Chuck Nessa

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10 hours ago, JSngry said:

Slept on this one for too long...slept is not the right world, I was oblivious to its existence. But started in on it today. CD 1 is excellent beyond words. Thompson's soprano playing is really in a class of its own. A totally unique sound, and intonation that would make a strobe tuner freeze in its tracks.

wf3ybqevipfuqz4wp4i7.jpg

A great release .... and CD 2 is (inter alias) a testament to the art of George Tucker ....

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12 hours ago, JSngry said:

Slept on this one for too long...slept is not the right world, I was oblivious to its existence. But started in on it today. CD 1 is excellent beyond words. Thompson's soprano playing is really in a class of its own. A totally unique sound, and intonation that would make a strobe tuner freeze in its tracks.

wf3ybqevipfuqz4wp4i7.jpg

I know you’re not a big fan of Fresh Sound, but the four cd set they put out, Complete Parisian Small Group Sessions, 1956-1959, is a terrific release. 

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1 hour ago, Brad said:

I know you’re not a big fan of Fresh Sound, but the four cd set they put out, Complete Parisian Small Group Sessions, 1956-1959, is a terrific release. 

Like another illustrious American, I'm not taking anything off the table...

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3 hours ago, Brad said:

I know you’re not a big fan of Fresh Sound, but the four cd set they put out, Complete Parisian Small Group Sessions, 1956-1959, is a terrific release. 

I was considering the Fresh Sound release, but then found, to my surprise, that I had most of it already.  

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15 hours ago, Chuck Nessa said:

Interesting this comes up now. Though my name isn't anywhere on the package, I worked on this project for a couple of years.

That's a bummer that your name isn't on there.

Was it an oversight?  Or intentional?

Credit where credit is due, right?!?!

Edited by HutchFan

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1 hour ago, HutchFan said:

That's a bummer that your name isn't on there.

Was it an oversight?  Or intentional?

Credit where credit is due, right?!?!

My split with Uptown was not amicable and my name was left of a number of projects including Pettiford, Chubby Jackson, Serge and Dizzy.

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