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Lucky Thompson - 'Bop & Ballads' [CD]
Lucky Thompson - 'Bop & Ballads' [CD]
Lucky Thompson - 'Bop & Ballads' [CD]
Lucky Thompson - 'Bop & Ballads' [CD]

Lucky Thompson

Bop & Ballads



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Product Details
Newly discovered sessions released here for the first time: Ten recordings by one of the greatest saxophonists of his generation, American jazz master Lucky "Eli" Thompson with the Michael Naura Trio, Quintet and guests in Hamburg 1959 and 1960. Small and larger group improvisations with the melodic sound of Lucky on tenor and soprano sax, featuring Heinz von Moisy, Hajo Lange, Jimmy Gourley, Wolfgang Schl├╝ter and Hans Koller. Hard bop with a nod to Lester Young ("Cherokee", "Thin Ice") and soft ballads ("Summertime", "Deep Passion"), all light, fluffy, intimately personal and with a lyrical bebop approach. "Lucky was a hell of a saxophone player" (Miles Davis).

"The music, all written and arranged by Lucky, is melodic and intimately personal. He is a melodic improviser; and jazz is rooted in song: its vox humana aspect (...) is the magical ability of an instrumentalist to bend his horn to shape the artist's needs, to make it an extension of his own, personal voice. It is a magic at which Lucky is a Merlin." (David A. Himmelstein, sleeve notes for "Lucky Strikes", Prestige Records 1964)

"Needless to say, Eli "Lucky" Thompson is considered one of the foremost saxophone players and arrangers in modern jazz. Already in 1956, in a press release for Savoy Records, H. Alan Stein described him as "one of jazzdom's most underrated and under-recorded tenor sax stylists". Thompson started during the swing era and played in the big bands of Jimmie Lunceford, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie and Billy Eckstine, working alongside with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, who both again played with him in 1946 on a landmark recording session of Parker for Dial Records when bebop was invented: "Mr. Thompson connected the swing era to the more cerebral and complex bebop style. His sophisticated, harmonically abstract approach to the tenor saxophone built off that of Don Byas and Coleman Hawkins; he played with beboppers, but resisted Charlie Parker's pervasive influence. He also played the soprano saxophone authoritatively." (Ben Ratliff, New York Times)
Track Listing & Audio