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Musician

Lucky Thompson

Born:

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

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Article: Album Review

Doug Lawrence: Doug Lawrence & Friends

Read "Doug Lawrence & Friends" reviewed by Jack Bowers


If the name Doug Lawrence doesn't sound familiar, the name Count Basie surely should. What is the Lawrence- Basie connection? Well, for more than two decades Lawrence has been the featured tenor saxophone soloist with the renowned and still- active Count Basie Orchestra, a chair once impressively occupied by the likes of Lester Young, Eddie “Lockjaw" ...

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Article: Album Review

Houston Person: Live in Paris

Read "Live in Paris" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The greatest jazz musicians have one trait in common; they make everything sound so ridiculously easy that listeners are liable to lose sight of the blood, sweat and tears which brought them to that pinnacle. Tenor saxophonist Houston Person, an octogenarian who keeps sidestepping every obstacle including Father Time, is one such master; regardless of groove ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Lotsa Luck

Read "Lotsa Luck" reviewed by H William Stine


Good luck, best of luck, lucky day, lucky duck, lucky dog, lucky devil, all the luck, with a little bit of luck, lucky charm, beginners luck, just my luck--are you seeing a pattern here? I saw a musical theme. Lots of “Lucky" song titles and song lyrics, plus a reminder or two that not all luck ...

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Article: Album Review

Andre Ferreri Quintetto: Numero Uno

Read "Numero Uno" reviewed by Jack Bowers


On Numero Uno, guitarist Andre Ferreri leads a tight-knit quintet, four of whose members appear on every number with alternating pianists—Sean Higgins, Phillip Howe, Mark Stallings (Hammond B3 on the breezy “Uptown Swing")--and one trumpeter (Brad Wilcox) who makes it a sextet on “Avia Pervia." Tenor saxophonist Ziad Rabie shares the front line while bassist Anna ...

News: Video / DVD

Lucky Thompson's Ballads (1953-'56)

Lucky Thompson's Ballads (1953-'56)

Lucky Thompson was one of the most gorgeous tenor saxophonists of the post-war period. His tone was pronounced, slippery and confidential and his improvising was as fluid and as seamless as syrup. His sweet spot was mid-tempo numbers, like Lullaby in Rhythm and East of the Sun, but his ballads also were standouts. Delivered with a ...

Album

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.

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...


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