(1991/Delmark) 6 tracks, Trumpeter Thompson´s second CD for Delmark has the leader surrounding himself with powerful sidemen and tributes to heroes, while emphasizing that the ´jaz´ life (one z purposefully left off) is a struggle to be overcome and to thrive in the midst of. Saxophonists Carter Jefferson and Joe Ford contribute mightily, as they have to projects by Woody Shaw and McCoy Tyner, respectively. Pianist Kirk Brown and bassist Harrison Bankhead play inside and out with equal aplomb, while rhythm navigators like drummer Nasar Abadey and percussionist Richard Lawrence keep things potent and swinging. These six compositions are not only life-affirming, but acknowledgments to such important icons as John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Miles Davis, and some of their important sidemen, who have inspired Thompson during his struggle with a rare lymphomatic cancer. ´In Walked John´ starts the CD off, an original of the leader with a rippling Wayne Shorter-Lee Morgan melody wed to a well swung Louis Jordan R&B beat. Trane-like ´Cousin Mary´ inferences are tacked onto Jefferson´s dusky tenor sax solo and Brown´s McCoy Tyner-esque piano. Another penned by Thompson, this time for the ´Mystic Trumpet Man´ Davis, is a thoroughly modern chart with soulful yet spiritual nuances, and more Chi-town soul flavor injections. ´Lucky Seven,´ a 12-minute composition, has modal, repeated piano chords with horns as an intro, a piano trio workout for the indefatigable Brown, Jefferson going at it on tenor replete with ´A Love Supreme´ quotes from the trumpeter, a drum solo for the underrated Abadey, and a polyphonic, multi-layered free section leading to the coda. The other three are standards, one a gospel-blues treatment of the Ray Charles classic ´Drown in My Own Tears´ in a total team concept. ´My Romance,´ taken in an easy tempo, has Thompson´s solidly rearranged ostinato to 3/4 sped-up breaks -- far from a rote approach to this tried and true melody. Jefferson´s stick-to-your-ribs solo -- echoes of Gene Ammons by way of Trane/Sonny Rollins -- is grounded and centered in freshness and parameter-pushing. Billy Harper´s immortal waltz ´Croquet Ballet,´ done originally by Lee Morgan, is sweet and faithful to no fault with the three horns, perhaps a little tamer in its stratospheric catharsis, but no less enjoyable. Thompson really hits the note consistently with this band of modern mainstream jazz masters performing at their best. Recommended.(AllMusic)
Audio CDLeslie Thompson ´´Les´´ Baxter (1922 - 1996) ist einer der Erfinder des ´´Exotica´´-Sounds, einer besonderen Form des Easy Listening, die Zuhörern einen Klangurlaub in der stereophonen Bequemlichkeit ihres eigenen Wohnzimmers bot, einen Trip voll
(1996/SEQUEL) 20 tracks (55:22)(1949-56 ´Miracle/King´) last copies - Bandleader and pianist Sonny Thompson was among the most prolific R&B instrumentalists of the late ´40s and early ´50s. Thompson began recording for Sultan in 1946, then did several sessions for Miracle, King, Federal, and Deluxe, while also backing vocalist Lula Reed from 1951 to 1961. Thompson scored two number one R&B hits for Miracle in 1948: ´´Long Gone,´´ Pts. 1 & 2, and ´´Late Freight.´´ He landed another Top Ten and two more Top 20 singles for Miracle in 1949, and then had three Top Ten hits for King in 1952. The biggest was ´´I´ll Drown In My Tears,´´ which reached number five. (Ron Wynn)
(1995/Delmark) Malachi Thompson is impressive not only because of his talents as a composer and a soloist, but also because of his versatility. The Chicago trumpeter has no problem playing Blue Note-flavored hard bop/post-bop, but he´s equally comfortable in avant-garde situations. Though Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, and Freddie Hubbard are strong influences on Thompson, he has also learned a lot from Lester Bowie. In fact, Bowie is a featured guest on Buddy Bolden´s Rag. This superb CD finds Thompson celebrating the contributions of New Orleans cornetist Buddy Bolden, one of jazz´s pioneers and a major influence on such greats as King Oliver and Louis Armstrong. It has been argued that Bolden single-handedly ´invented´ jazz in the 1890s, and while it´s a stretch to say that he invented jazz all by himself, he most certainly played a crucial role in its development. (Jelly Roll Morton, by the way, claimed to have ´invented´ jazz -- again, no one should take credit for single-handedly inventing it). On Buddy Bolden´s Rag, Thompson and his band Africa Brass salute Bolden in an unconventional way, instead of playing traditional New Orleans jazz, they provide inside/outside post-bop that acknowledges Crescent City brass bands as well as avant-garde and AACM jazz. Thompson looks back on jazz´s early history but does so without being the least bit dogmatic about it, and the result is a very enriching and unpredictable CD.