Lucky Thompson

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Lucky Thompson

Lucky Thompson (* 16th June 1924 in Columbia (South Carolina) , Michigan as Eli Thompson ; † 30th July 2005 in Seattle , Washington) was an American jazz - saxophonist .

Live and act

Thompson bought a saxophone when he was fifteen; he played in local groups with Hank Jones and Sonny Stitt and toured with the Bama State Collegians before playing tenor sax with Lionel Hampton , Sid Catlett , Don Redman (1943) and Billy Eckstine (1944). He also performed with Slam Stewart and Lucky Millinder . With Count Basie he was between 1944 and 1945 in the saxophone setting and then accompanied Dinah Washington ; In 1946/47 he lived in California for a year , where he played with Boyd Raeburn , Tom Talbert and Dizzy Gillespie . In 1947 he led an all-star band for recordings at RCA Victor . In 1948 he moved to New York City , where he performed with Oscar Pettiford .

His own band and the collaboration with Oscar Pettiford in the 1950s were then important in terms of jazz history. During this time and until 1970 he had enough to play in studios, at festivals and in small clubs in the USA and Europe. Between 1957 and 1963 he lived in Europe (Paris and Baden-Baden ). In Germany he performed with the singer Monica Zetterlund , at the NDR jazz workshop and in small groups with Oscar Pettiford. In France, his playing on the soprano saxophone was particularly popular. Poetry, lightness and elegant phrasing characterized his expressive play. He was a gifted melodist and was celebrated in France as the modern Sidney Bechet. He played as a sideman with Stan Kenton , Milt Jackson , Jo Jones , Quincy Jones and Miles Davis .

After his wife died in late 1962, he raised his two sons (including guitarist Darryl Thompson ) as a single parent . His career suffered as a result. From 1968 he lived in Lausanne for three years . In 1973 and 1974 he taught at Dartmouth College and in 1973 he made his last admission. In the last years of his life he lived in the northwestern United States and was suffering from Alzheimer's . Recordings made by the Candid label in the early 1960s, which were considered lost, gave rise to researching Thompson. He couldn't remember the titles of his own compositions and so the excellent recordings were published a. a. with Martial Solal , with fictitious titles. Musicians who saw him in his later years reported that he wandered the streets of Seattle impoverished and disoriented, and was also unable to play physically because he had lost his teeth. In 1994 he found a place in an assisted dormitory, where he stayed until his death.

Discographic notes

Web links

Lexical entry

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Noal Cohen, Chris Byars Lucky Thompson In Paris: The 1961 Candid Records Session
  2. Bruno Pfeiffer: Lucky thompson, Pointure et poing levé du jazz. Liberation , January 14, 2018, accessed January 17, 2018 (French).