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EDDIE THOMPSON

IN THE USA

HEP RECORDS HEP CD 2100

 

 

Recorded in 1962, New York City: Tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 9

Recorded in 1963, New York City: Tracks 4, 6, 7, 8, 10

Eddie Thompson, piano

Ron Lundberg, bass

Lou Berryman, drums

Recorded in September, 1975, Santa Clara, CA: Tracks 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

Eddie Thompson, piano

  1. Cherry (3:07)

  2. How Are Things In Glocca Morra (4:07)

  3. Shepherd’s Pie (2:54)

  4. Mood For Teachers (3:34)

  5. I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry (3:06)

  6. Baby Mine (5:45)

  7. Home Brew (4:05)

  8. Bread For Ed (2:55)

  9. Chile Con Carne (2:45)

  10. State Occasion (4:11)

  11. All Too Soon (3:20)

  12. Dancing On The Ceiling (6:12)

  13. Laura (5:19)

  14. St. Louis Blues (10:17)

  15. Liza (4:03)

    TOTAL PLAYING TIME: [65:40]

     

    Eddie Thompson (1925-1986) was born in Shoreditch, London and was blind at birth. He developed a love for jazz as a child by listening to the radio and hearing Earl Hines, Art Tatum and Fats Waller. Eddie absorbed their piano styles, as well as others he heard, and incorporated Dixieland, stride, swing, boogie-woogie and bop into his own repertoire. His playing displays them all, and often within the same song. This disc is a collection of 15 of his tunes; five were recorded in late 1962 with bassist Ron Lundberg and drummer Lou Berryman, and another five with the same musicians in early 1963. The final five songs were recorded live in September, 1975 at a piano party at the home of Jeani and Sigi Mohr in Santa Clara, California. Eddie composed six of the fifteen, including Bread For Ed, a jazzy, fast-paced number which Eddie uses to demonstrate his incredible piano technique, alternating between right-hand block chords and lightning keyboard runs, while leaving room for fine individual solos by drummer Lou Berryman and Ron Lundberg on bass, and Shepherd Pie, a melodic quick-time waltz featuring Eddie on piano and Ron keeping time on the snare. How Are Things In Glocca Morra was written by Burton Lane, with lyrics by E.Y. Harburg, and appeared in the 1947 musical Finian’s Rainbow. Eddie’s plays his lovely arrangement with a slow march time, starting with two bass notes with the left hand, and using heavy chords and brief arpeggios for the melody. Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn wrote I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out to Dry in 1944, and the song appeared in the musical comedy Glad to See You. Eddie plays with a light, melancholic touch that is perfectly matched by a wistful drum rhythm and subdued bass line. Dancing On The Ceiling, written by Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart, appeared in the 1930 musical Ever Green, where it was performed in London on the Adelphi Theater’s revolving stage. The song had been originally scheduled for Ed Wynn’s musical Simple Simon but was dropped before the show opened. Eddie’s version starts with a slow marching rhythm, then breaks out into a buffet of styles ranging from Dixie to the blues, and tempos from slow to galloping. A few songs on this disc seem out of place. State Occasion is a ponderous foot-dragger that doesn’t go anywhere. Another tune that could have been re-thought is Baby Mine, which was composed by Frank Churchill, with lyrics by Ned Washington. The song appeared in the 1941 Disney animated film Dumbo and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The song is a mother’s gentle lullaby. Eddie’s bouncy swing version is well-played but misses the mark.

    A 12- page booklet is included with the disc, with comments from Eddie in 1963 and Siegfried Mohr in 2014. The album was produced by Alastair Robertson and remastered by Alan Bunting.

    The sound quality varies between tracks, often losing the bass.

    Bruce McCollum

 

 


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