Lucky Thompson: A Distant Sound


A Distant Sound


Lucky Thompson (tenor sax)


Lucky Thompson & Gigi Gryce In Paris (Vogue 09026-68216)

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Lucky Thompson (tenor sax),

Fernand Verstraete (trumpet), Andre Paquinet (trombone), Jo Hrasko (alto sax), Marcel Hrasko (baritone sax), Martial Solal (piano), Jean-Pierre Sasson (guitar), Benoit Quersin (bass), Gerald Pochonet (drums)


Composed by Lucky Thompson


Recorded: Paris, March 29, 1956


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

After playing and recording with Charlie Parker on the famous Dial sessions of 1946, Lucky Thompson was in demand. He played and recorded with such disparate musicians as Count Basie, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis between 1951 and 1956—a testament to his versatility and eclecticism. In March of 1956 he took his particular sound to Paris and made a series of recordings with predominantly French musicians, the most prominent being the unpredictable innovator Martial Solal.

On this recording, you can hear Thompson’s deep-throated, Lester Young influenced sound, which is both round and smoky throughout. But Lucky is no “Prez” clone. His sound is a crossbreed between Parker’s bebop phrasing and Young’s fluidity and full round tone. This is especially apparent on “A Distant Sound” which is a thinly veiled knock off of “The End of a Love Affair”. The song starts off as a rhumba and gets progressively modern with Martial Solal’s piano solo. Solal demonstrates his quirky but harmonically advanced musical approach, which seems years ahead of its time. When Lucky comes in to solo on tenor, he starts off in a classic swing style. In the second break, he blasts off into a wonderful Parker-esque double-timed solo where he bridges the gap between these two transitional forms. On the final break his sound anneals into an amalgamation of the two forms, a purely Thompson creation.

Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello

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