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Lucky Thompson

A legendary tenor and soprano saxophonist who took his place among the elite improvisers of jazz from the 1940's to the 1960's and then quit music. Lucky Thompson connected the swing era to the more cerebral and complex bebop style. His sophisticated, harmonically abstract approach to the tenor saxophone endeared him to the beboppers, but he was also a beautiful balladeer. Thompson was born in Columbia, South Carolina, but grew up on Detroit's East Side. He saved to buy a saxophone study book, practicing on a simulated instrument carved from a broomstick. He finally acquired a saxophone when he was 15, practiced eight hours a day and, within a month, was playing around town, most notably with the King's Aces big band, among who was vibraphonist Milt Jackson, later a frequent associate

Birth Of Bebop - Celebrating Bird At 100

Label: ezz-thetics
Released: 2020
Track listing: Savoy Sessions:- Billie's Bounce; Thriving From A Riff; Koko; Meandering; Donna Lee; Cheryl; Buzzy; Another Hair Do; Bluebird; Klaunstance; BirdGets The Worm; Barbados; Constellation; Parker’s Mood; Parker’s Mood (AT-2); Marmaduke; Steeplechase; Merry Go Round; A Night In Tunisia; Dizzy Atmosphere; Groovin’ High; Confirmation; Koko; Dial Sessions:- Moose The Mooche; Yardbird Suite; Ornithology; A Night In Tunisia; Bird’s Nest; Cool Blues; Relaxin’ At Camarillo; Dexterity; Bongo Bop; Dewey Square; The Hymn; Bird Of Paradise; Embraceable You; Bird Feathers; Klact-oveeseds-tene; Scrapple From The Apple; My Old Flame; Out Of Nowhere; Don’t Blame Me; Drifting On A Reed; Quasimodo; Charlie’s Wig; Bongo Beep; Crazeology.

Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun's Atlantic Records differs in one key respect from Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!, Strata-East and Flying Dutchman, the most prominent labels covered so far in this Building A Jazz Library series. Those labels' discographies consist almost exclusively of jazz. Atlantic had parallel interests in soul and rhythm-and-blues and, later, rock. This had consequences, as ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Ada Rovatti: True Artist

Read "Ada Rovatti: True Artist" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

For Ada Rovatti, a saxophonist whose musical journey took her from her homeland of Italy, then inevitably to the United States, the road taken has not always been easy. A bright and sensitive artist, she can have misgivings about her work at times. But that work, with other bands or the leading voice on ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jay Thomas with the Oliver Groenewald NewNet: I Always Knew

Read "I Always Knew" reviewed by Jack Bowers

There aren't many jazz musicians who play both brass and woodwinds, fewer still who play them as well as the veteran Seattle-based virtuoso Jay Thomas (the word “virtuoso" is used with due care). On I Always Knew, recorded in January 2018 with German-born trumpeter / arranger Oliver Groenewald's NewNet, Thomas traverses the ballad form on a ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

Sonny Buxton: Strayhorn’s Last Drummer, A Radio Master Class Mid-Day Saturdays

Read "Sonny Buxton: Strayhorn’s Last Drummer, A Radio Master Class Mid-Day Saturdays" reviewed by Arthur R George

Sociologist, anthropologist, historian: storyteller, raconteur, entrepreneur and griot, in the guise of a deejay. Registrar, dean, professor: The jazz class of Sonny Buxton is barely concealed as entertainment within his weekly radio program every Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pacific time on San Francisco Bay Area FM station KCSM 91.1, streaming live on kcsm.org.

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

A Selection of Jazz on Sonorama

Read "A Selection of Jazz on Sonorama" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

A good record is not just an album, it is a story, and few people understand this better than Ekkehart Fleischhammer, who runs Sonorama. The label specializes in reissues and discoveries of lost jazz classics, library music, funk and soul. Every release is a labor of love and the albums in the following batch all include ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The Dan Banks Quintet: Two in a Box

Read "Two in a Box" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On Two in a Box, British pianist Dan Banks' quintet revisits a Golden Age in jazz when hard bop was king and record labels like Prestige and Blue Note delivered the latest sounds to an astute and appreciative audience. Without mimicry, Banks reimagines the indomitable spirit of such masters as Red Garland, Wynton Kelly, Bobby Timmons, ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Lucky Thompson: Paris 1956-59

Lucky Thompson: Paris 1956-59

Eli “Lucky" Thompson was one of jazz's most confident and gifted tenor saxophonists. On recordings, his imagination on solos was so fast and bountiful that he filled virtually every spare space with warm tones. Over the course of his career, Thompson was most at home in Paris, as evidenced by his exhilarating slippery and smokey sound ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Eric Ineke: Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter

Read "Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Eric Ineke is a long time drummer, residing in the Netherlands, who is one of a coterie of sidemen favored by American expatriate jazz musicians for their European gigs. This fine compilation of his work with nine of the great tenor saxophonists gives the listener a golden opportunity to listen to some of their best workouts ...


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