Barbara Thompson’s Early Sessions Are Issued

It’s been about a year since the great Barbara Thompson passed away, and European jazz world still feels this immense loss. The lady left behind an impressive legacy – as a soloist with UNITED JAZZ AND ROCK ENSEMBLE and the leader of PARAPHERNALIA, as contributor to COLOSSEUM‘s oeuvre and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s opuses, to mention just a few of her projects – but interest to the late saxophonist’s recordings doesn’t diminish. That’s why the “First Light” collection, out now to coincide with her memorial concert which took place at London’s Union Chapel on June 2nd, feels so alluring.

Produced by Jazz In Britain, with all net profits being donated to Cure Parkinson’s – the ailment that Ms. Thompson suffered from – this album is comprised of three early ’70s Barbara’s sessions – recently found and, thus, previously unreleased: her recordings with GROUP E, BIG BAND and JUBIABA – all remarkable collectives (see their line-ups below). It’s difficult to overestimate the platter’s importance – and wonder, too. This artifact is available on Bandcamp.

First Light

GROUP E (1971):
1. The Tie Game
2. Threnody
BIG BAND (1972):
3. The Awakening – First Light
4. The Awakening – Second Light
5. The Awakening – Daylight
JUBIABA (1972):
6. Miguel The Speed Freak
7. Favela
8. Esmeralda’s
9. Touch Of Blue
10. Black Pearl

Barbara Thompson – tenor & soprano sax, alto flute; Pete Lemer – piano; Johnny Dyani – bass; Laurie Allan – drums; Pepi Lemer – voice.

Ian Hamer, Kenny Wheeler – trumpet, flugelhorn; Henry Lowther – trumpet, flugelhorn, violin; Derek Wadsworth – trombone; Don Rendell, Barbara Thompson – saxes, flutes; Charles Tunnell – cello; Howard Riley – piano, electric piano, organ; Bill LeSage – electric piano, organ, vibes, percussion; Jeff Clyne – bass, bass guitar; Jon Hiseman – drums; Norma Winstone – voice; Neil Ardley – director

George Chisholm, Ian Carr – trumpet, flugelhorn; Derek Wadsworth – trombone, electronic trombone, didgeridoo; Barbara Thompson – tenor sax, flute; Bill LeSage – vibes; Pete Lemer – piano, electric piano; Roy Babbington – bass guitar; Martin Drew – drums; Trevor Tomkins – percussion.

June 13, 2023

Category(s): News

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