Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, 4/19 & 4/23

Back to a mostly jazz show on this week’s Updoc—Friday at 8PM, noon next Tuesday—featuring some new and newish releases from Ben Wolfe, Ulysses Owens Jr. and Chris Potter among others, but I was particularly pleased to unearth a track featuring Lucky Thompson on a little-known Art Blakey record from about 1970. Most people know Thompson, I’d guess, from his swing-to-bop tenor work on a few sessions with Charlie Parker, but in later years he favored the soprano saxophone, of which he was a major master. He lived in Europe for many years, came back to the States and Los Angeles and wound up homeless and living on the street due to the fortunes of war and the gradual encroachment of senile dementia. Last year I learned from Branford Marsalis that he was found, rescued, and given a home by some real L.A. angels, though toward the end he had no memory of having played music. “Did I do that?” he’d say when played one of his records. I’ve played the hell out of his album Lucky Strikes on the show, and I’m only playing one Blakey track this week—so good it could make even Lennie Tristano smile—but I thought I’d relate the story here. There’s Tristano too, two versions of the Miserere, one ancient and the other contemporary, and the show rounds off with two orchestral pieces by Takemitsu with links to Finnegans Wake.  A way a lone a last a loved a long the

PARIS, lennylucky1922-1939

2 Responses to “Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, 4/19 & 4/23”

  1. Looking forward to this one. It was Updoc that first hipped me to Lucky Thompson in the first place (I mean, I had heard him with Bird and Monk, but hadn’t really paid attention to look at the credits etc.)

  2. Let’s check out Tricotism together. I first woke up to Thompson on hearing that cut with Blakey when that album came out sometime in the late 60s. I’d heard his sessions with Bird, of course, but his playing on soprano was fresh news of a modern master.