Berthold

Lucky Thompson

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Blue Sound is offering some new Lucky Thompson CD´s.

- Complete Parisian Small Group Sessions 1956-1959 (4-CD Box Set)

http://www.freshsoundrecords.com/lucky-thompson-albums/6609-complete-parisian-small-group-sessions-1956-1959-4-cd-box-set.html

and

- Lucky Thompson in Paris 1956 · The All Star Orchestra Sessions

http://www.freshsoundrecords.com/lucky-thompson-albums/6610-lucky-thompson-in-paris-1956-the-all-star-orchestra-sessions.html

 

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I might be forced to get this if only to get "Plays for the Club" which to the best of my knowledge has never been reissued. Otherwise I have all of this and as LT obsessive I can thoroughly recommend the music. 

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Posted (edited)

Hi folks,

The 4CD box set is not for 'completists' because 3 alternate takes from the 'Lucky Thompson - Nothing but the soul' CD are missing ( Thin Ice & 2 others).

But it is interesting because it includes the very rare french LP Club des Amateurs du Disque CAD 3001 'Lucky Thompson plays for the Club', never reissued since 1956.

Enjoy!

 

Edited by Claude Schlouch
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3 hours ago, Claude Schlouch said:

Hi folks,

The 4CD box set is not for 'completists' because 3 alternate takes from the 'Lucky Thompson - Nothing but the soul' CD are missing ( Thin Ice & 2 others).

... as well as the Emett Berry feature from that session on which Thompson lays out. The alternates were on a French EMI CD that should not be too hard to find.

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10 hours ago, mikeweil said:

... as well as the Emett Berry feature from that session on which Thompson lays out. The alternates were on a French EMI CD that should not be too hard to find.

"Blues for Frank" was reissued on Swing LP SW8404 ("Paris 1956 - Vol. One"), though, which should not be that hard to find either. To name just this reissue ...

Otterwise, I am having similar feelings to what Clunky said. Everything here except CAD 3.001 (Plays For The Club), of course, and the Symphonium session from 1959 (any opinions on this vs the "rest"?). And I guess I can live without the alternates.

So I am wondering if, with all these duplications, I am to get the box set anyway (the additional single CD with the larger lineups is of no interest as I have all these).

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Posted (edited)

I have the SWING LP reissue - that's why I know it's fine track.;) - That's one thing I dislike about many reissues - they omit a track just because the musician featured does not play on it, although it completes the session, :rolleyes:

The one LP Claude mentioned is indeed the only album not yet reissued and the reason to get the box. Nice to have it all in one package.I have all of the other stuff, too, but this is what finally had to be done. No matter what you say about Jordi Pujol, he assembles those reissues that more than a few here ask for. In the preceding batch there was a CD collecting all the rare Joe Carroll vocal tracks scattered over several (re-)issues and included the one EPIC LP which was reissued in Japan many years ago but goes for crazy prices on the second hand market.

Edited by mikeweil

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, mikeweil said:

That's one thing I dislike about many reissues - they omit a track just because the musician featured does not play on it, although it completes the session, :rolleyes:

 

Ha, I've seen that even Mosaic is guilty of that sometimes ... Riding a principle to death ...

2 hours ago, mikeweil said:

The one LP Claude mentioned is indeed the only album not yet reissued and the reason to get the box. Nice to have it all in one package.I have all of the other stuff, too, but this is what finally had to be done. No matter what you say about Jordi Pujol, he assembles those reissues that more than a few here ask for.

I am definitely not one to complain about Jordi Pujol. He goes where hardly anybody else dares (or cares) to tread.
(And a P.D. law is a P.D. law ... others like it or not ... and Japanese reissues - staying in print for ... what ... 57 seconds? ... like someone aptly put it here - and often marked "Not for sale outside Japan" (really not for licensing reasons?) conveniently ignored by many non-Japanese snappers-up of these :D - do not really count in the overall accessibility scheme of things anyway).
But I do dislike one aspect of his reissue policy anyway ... Very, very often he reissues stuff in "2 LPs on one CD" packages (or similar) that SPOT ON take that single LP reissue by Fresh Sound done at the time (and sometimes even an earlier Fresh Sound CD reissue) and combine it with the reissue of another LP not quite so easily available elsewhere. So if you've been around a while and bought many of those F.S. vinyl reissues (like I did) and hang on to these you are licked because you have to buy half of what you already have all over again if you want the other stuff. So by now I often pass.

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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1 hour ago, Big Beat Steve said:

But I do dislike one aspect of his reissue policy anyway ... Very, very often he reissues stuff in "2 LPs on one CD" packages (or similar) that SPOT ON take that single LP reissue by Fresh Sound done at the time (and sometimes even an earlier Fresh Sound CD reissue) and combine it with the reissue of another LP not quite so easily available elsewhere. So if you've been around a while and bought many of those F.S. vinyl reissues (like I did) and hang on to these you are licked because you have to buy half of what you already have all over again if you want the other stuff. So by now I often pass.

Well, if the older reissues are out of print, I can see his reasons, but I uttered my share of curses about this just as well. That it gets harder by the day to sell your duplicates does not make it easier.

Maybe he couldn't access the issues added later the first time around. Considering the many times other labels reissued stuff again and again, adding an unreleased track every now and then (Miles on Columbia being the prime example) he is not worse than others, but I definitely see and share your point.

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I do understand that some key or "cult" (?) LPs reissued before on vinyl are moved to CD.

But in other cases (of not quite so desert island-ish LPs already reissued by them) it does gall me (a bit) that often there would have been other LPs by that same artist that are not that easy to find elsewhere either and could have been selected as well (instead of that previous vinyl reissue) to make up such a "2 LPs on one CD" set. But - even disregarding the fact that these Fresh Sound vinyl reissues are not toally inaccessible secondhand - I think he still eyes that "I've dumped my LPs for good and am all CDs now" crowd and does his marketing accordingly.

Anyway ... anyone have any any opinion on that 1959 Symphonium session on that Lucky Thompson set? How does it compare to the "rest"?

 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Big Beat Steve said:

Anyway ... anyone have any any opinion on that 1959 Symphonium session on that Lucky Thompson set? How does it compare to the "rest"?

 

Those were on a HighNote CD - there are samples here: http://www.jazzdepot.com/l_thompson/7045.html

Edited by mikeweil

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I have to correct myself: The Emett Berry track is included in the box!!!

But: it includes two 1959 quartet tracks recorded in Cologne with Fats Sadi but does not add the two tracks from the same session by a Jacques Sels Septet with Thompson released on the same rare EP on the German Manhattan label ... :rolleyes:

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2 hours ago, mikeweil said:

But: it includes two 1959 quartet tracks recorded in Cologne with Fats Sadi but does not add the two tracks from the same session by a Jacques Sels Septet with Thompson released on the same rare EP on the German Manhattan label ... :rolleyes:

I noticed that absence too. But as we are in a privileged situation over here (that Manhattan/Bertelsmann EP is not that exceedingly rare) I have that one too.

BTW, I guess what Fresh Sond claims to be "bonus" tracks on CD 4 (such as the two included from that session) refers to "bonus to the "Paris recordings and feat.Lucky Thompson" criteria. So I guess we are not supposed to complain. :D

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But of course! ;)

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How much time did Lucky Thompson spend in Paris ?

I did know about his late fifties things in Paris.

One LP that was on sale when I was young was that "Oscar Pettiford" Memorial Concert from Paris, october 1960 with Lucky Thompson Trio some tracks and Bud Powell Trio some tracks. On a club date they played a few tunes together.

I´ve read once , I think Ronnie Scott wrote it, that Lucky Thompson was not an easy guy to work with. British pianists had difficulties working with some "difficult" tenorplayers. Lucky was one of them, the others was Brew Moore and Don Byas if I remember right.

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Posted (edited)

According to Noal Cohen's fine discographical work (http://attictoys.com/lucky-thompson-discography-1951-1956/) Thomspons last New York recording session took place on February 14, 1956; his first in Paris was on February 22.

His last session in Paris before returning to New York was on May 11, 1956; May 22 has him participating in the sessions in New York for Stan Kenton's Cuban Fire LP.

A Louis Armstrong session on January 30, 1957 is the last before returning to Europe - he is in Amsterdam for a privately recorded concert in Amsterdam on May 18, 1957. but this date contradicts dates for radio broadcasts of the Oscar Pettiford Orchestra in May 1957 - see the next page in Cohen's disco (http://attictoys.com/lucky-thompson-discography-1957-1974/). The next session date in Paris on June 24, 1957 should be correct. There are sessions in Paris until September, later dates show him travelling across Europe. Consult Cohen's website for all the session dates. 

He was back in the USA to record for Prestige on March 8, 1963.

There was another stay in Europe starting in July, 1968; he must have returned to the USA sometime between September and December, 1971. 

Edited by mikeweil

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10 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

How much time did Lucky Thompson spend in Paris ?

I did know about his late fifties things in Paris.

One LP that was on sale when I was young was that "Oscar Pettiford" Memorial Concert from Paris, october 1960 with Lucky Thompson Trio some tracks and Bud Powell Trio some tracks. On a club date they played a few tunes together.

I´ve read once , I think Ronnie Scott wrote it, that Lucky Thompson was not an easy guy to work with. British pianists had difficulties working with some "difficult" tenorplayers. Lucky was one of them, the others was Brew Moore and Don Byas if I remember right.

I have heard he had some mental health issues; I believe he was living on the streets of Seattle in his last days.

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In his very last days, as I understand it, he was taken off the streets and given baseline (if not better) humane care befitting a person of his then-condition (food, clothing, shelter, medical care, etc.). It was at some facility in the area, nothing fancy, but off the streets and out of the elements.

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

In his very last days, as I understand it, he was taken off the streets and given baseline (if not better) humane care befitting a person of his then-condition (food, clothing, shelter, medical care, etc.). It was at some facility in the area, nothing fancy, but off the streets and out of the elements.

A certain Mr. Steven Wang let Lucky live in a shack on his property, which was a satisfactory arrangement for Lucky. Lucky had to move off the property when he let the garden hose run, almost wiping out the foundation of a house at a lower elevation.
He moved back on to the streets after that and was taken to a hospital when he collapsed on the street. After Lucky was diagnosed, the doctors didn't want to release him from the hospital.

Buddy Catlet and his friend Lola Pedrini were doing what they could for Lucky, getting him medical care and a decent living environment but it was extremely difficult since he rejected most attempts to help him. Several musicians have offered him horns but he has no interest in playing whatsoever.

Prior to moving to Seattle, Lucky lived on an island near Savannah.
While there, he gave his instruments to a dentist in Savannah in exchange for dental services. These were later sold to a well known reed man, Pat LaBarbara, if memory serves. It seems that Lucky has not played since his tenure at Dartmouth which would have been around 1975. His last KNOWN recordings were the Groove Merchants in 1974 but there are rumors of private recordings made while he was at Dartmouth.

BTW Ms. Lola Pedrini deserves the unending praise and appreciation from jazz fans who love Lucky Thompson's music and who were concerned that he had lived his life with some dignity. Eli Thompson was clothed, and he was well fed !

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12 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

 

I´ve read once , I think Ronnie Scott wrote it, that Lucky Thompson was not an easy guy to work with. British pianists had difficulties working with some "difficult" tenorplayers. Lucky was one of them, the others was Brew Moore and Don Byas if I remember right.

Stan Tracey specifically mentioned Thompson and Byas as being very difficult to work with, in the mid-60s period when he was 'house' pianist at Scotts. I think Ronnie might also have made words to that effect in print. Hadn't heard comments to that effect about Brew Moore.

For a guy as flexible and accomodating as Tracey to say that, he must have been difficult. There again, there is that amiable monologue from 1968 on the tape to Mark Gardner which appears on the Candid release, which gives an entirely different impression. An enigma !

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2 hours ago, Cyril said:

While there, he gave his instruments to a dentist in Savannah in exchange for dental services. These were later sold to a well known reed man, Pat LaBarbara, if memory serves.

That's right, Cyril.  Pat LaBarbera plays both Lucky's tenor and soprano.  I have some pictures of Pat playing the tenor, but don't have the ability to add them here....

 

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Maybe another time, Ted.... When Stanley Turrentine gave Lucky a sax, he returned it because he was afraid he would lose it.

It's such a sad,sad story.....(about 'Lucky').

 

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On ‎14‎.‎08‎.‎2017 at 4:48 PM, sidewinder said:

Stan Tracey specifically mentioned Thompson and Byas as being very difficult to work with, in the mid-60s period when he was 'house' pianist at Scotts. I think Ronnie might also have made words to that effect in print. Hadn't heard comments to that effect about Brew Moore.

For a guy as flexible and accomodating as Tracey to say that, he must have been difficult. There again, there is that amiable monologue from 1968 on the tape to Mark Gardner which appears on the Candid release, which gives an entirely different impression. An enigma !

Yes, I remember once someone gave me that book Ronnie Scott wrote, a very very good book and I remember, if I remember right, that Lucky Thompson said to Stan Tracey "if you must play crap, play it low" or something like that.

With all due respect to Lucky Thompson and I like his playing, one thing is significant: Very often those artists who where not necessarly in the forefront of the movement were the most difficult ones. In my hometown Vienna they had sometimes the Basie-trumpetist Joe Newman, a good swinging musician, but maybe not the most famous, but ......how he always lectured and teached his local sideman. It seems that after some gigs no local musician from Vienna wanted to play again with him......

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2 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

Very often those artists who where not necessarly in the forefront of the movement were the most difficult ones. In my hometown Vienna they had sometimes the Basie-trumpetist Joe Newman, a good swinging musician, but maybe not the most famous, but ......how he always lectured and teached his local sideman. It seems that after some gigs no local musician from Vienna wanted to play again with him......

Talking about Vienna: Don't forget Hans Koller who was said by insiders to have been a difficult person to get along with too, including offstage when in fact people dealing with him went out of their way to accommodate him and yet it seemed to be not enough ...

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Hello Big Beat STeve:

even if it´s OT, but about Hans Koller I can´t say much. I´m sure and convinced that he was an exceptional artist, I wasn´t able to get into his music, which seemed to be very much written out stuff, serios western type music. He didn´t go much to those clubs where you´d drink and talk to the musicians and jam and the way how I was used to it.

Heard him once in 1983 at a festival it was called "Master Quarted", two saxophones and two pianos, a quite unusual combination. Maybe I´m too dumb for that stuff, I like it with sax, piano, bass and drums , and that kind of music seemed to be very very hard listening, much more like 20th century experimental music.

Once I met someone who had to audition for Hans Koller and had to show he can read the most complicate sheet music.

So I think if someone played with Hans Koller he had to be a certain kind of classical trained musician.

The "difficult" musicians I talk about , Lucky Thompson with Stan Tracey, in my case in Vienna Joe Newman with some locals, that´s somethin else, they´d play regular jazz tunes and if Joe Newman might call "Bye Bye Blackbird" which you can play without thinkin about chords or sheet and he starts lecturing the band, that´s uncomfortable. And maybe Lucky Thompson was the same.....

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Today I discovered (maybe it´s just for me a discovery) "Bop & Ballads" from LT. The Recordings were recorded 1959 and 1960 in Germany.

And, yes I´m also marveling the first new LT box mentioned in this thread and the CD with records from Paris in 1956

LT is that good.

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