Spot Session – Eli "Lucky" Thompson
Lucky wrote this blues head for Art Blakey, and it's a subtle feature: the drums have a four-measure figure throughout the head, which complements the melody.
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- Recording: Art Blakey - Soul Finger
- Recorded on: April 21, 1965
- Label: Limelight (LM 82018)
- Concert Key: B-flat
- Vocal Range: , to
- Style: Swing (medium)
- Soprano Sax - Lucky Thompson
- Piano - John Hicks
- Bass - Victor Sproles
- Drums - Art Blakey
The four-measure drum figure is played three times as an intro. After the head is played once, there's a four-measure interlude—one more time through the drum figure—and the head is repeated going straight into the solos. The last two measures of the head are vamped and faded out.
Lucky Thompson plays soprano sax on this recording, in a high register. Measures 9 and 10 of the melody go quite high for trumpet and can be taken an octave down. Our E♭ lead sheet has the whole melody in the lower octave; alto or baritone saxophonists have the option of playing it an octave higher, except for the ninth and tenth measures.
June 16, 1924 – July 30, 2005
Saxophonist Lucky Thompson is one of the great treasures of jazz. He was born in Columbia, South Carolina, but was raised in Detroit, Michigan. He played in local groups with Hank Jones, Sonny Stitt and others. In August, 1943, when he was 19, he left Detroit with Lionel Hampton's Orchestra, eventually arriving in New York City. Still a teenager, his first recording date was with Hot Lips Page on March 18, 1944. Later in 1944 he started recording with both Lucky Millinder and Count Basie. Read more...