Friday, June 23, 2017

Sir Charles Thompson - His Personal Vanguard Recordings

The elegantly nicknamed Sir Charles Thompson was one of the few musicians associated with swing who was able to make a graceful, wholehearted transition to bop at the time the revolution was happening. His piano style is light-fingered and spare in a witty, inventive, Basie-descended bop manner, and he was able to adapt it effectively to the organ. Thompson's first instrument was the violin, but the piano beckoned when he was a teenager, and he started working with territory bands in the midwest in the late 1930s. He briefly joined Lionel Hampton in 1940, but left in order to work with small groups and contribute arrangements to Basie, Hampton, Fletcher Henderson, Jimmy Dorsey, and other bands. While working in New York's 52nd St. clubs during World War II, he began to pick up on the beginnings of bop. In 1944-1945, Thompson played in the Coleman Hawkins/Howard McGhee band, journeying to Hollywood with them to record several terrific swing/bop sides for Capitol (now on Hollywood Stampede) and also his lively tune "Ladies' Lullaby" for Asch. So thoroughly had Thompson absorbed the language and ethos of bop that he was able to write one of the quintessential classics of the idiom, "Robbins' Nest," which became a hit for Sir Charles' next employer, Illinois Jacquet, and inspired a haunting, pathbreaking Gil Evans arrangement for Claude Thornhill in 1947.
Thompson recorded a number of small group albums for Vanguard in the '50s, and two more for Columbia in 1959 and 1960, and appeared as a sideman for Buck Clayton and Jimmy Rushing, but spent much of the '50s freelancing as an organist. He toured the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico in the '60s leading small groups, as well as Europe with Clayton. Following a bout of ill health, he returned to action in 1975. His early bop sides for Apollo, including some with Hawkins and Charlie Parker, are available on the Delmark reissue Takin' Off.
Richard S. Ginell

Source :

Sir Charles Thompson
His Personal Vanguard Recordings


Cd. 1

1 Bop This (Thompson)  3:43
2 Memories of You (Blake, azaf)  5:23
3 Oh Joe ! (Newman)  6:33
4 For the Ears (Thompson)  11:13
5 Swingtime in the Rockies (Mundy)  4:01
6 Honeysuckle Rose (Waller, Razaf)  6:22
7 These Foolish Things (Strachey, Link, Marvell)  5:25
8 Sweet Georgia Brown (Pinkard, Bernie, Casey)  4:05


Cd. 2

1 It's the Talk of the Town (Livingston, Symes, Neiburg)  4:35
2 Fore ! (Thompson)  6:53
3 Dynaflow (Thompson)  4:49
4 Under the Sweetheart Tree (Thompson, Evans)  5:13
5 Ready for Freddie (Thompson)  2:55
6 Sonny Howard's Blues (Thompson)  5:23
7 Best by Test (Best)  2:50
8 Hey There (Adler, Ross)  5:13
9 Love for Sale (Porter)  6:24
10 Stompin' at the Savoy (Samson, Webb, Goodman, Razaf)  3:12
11 Mr. Sandman (Ballard)  2:47


[Cd. 1, # 1-4]
Pete Brown - as
Joe Newman - tp
Benny Powell - tb
Sir Charles Thompson - p
Gene Ramey - b
Osie Johnson - dr
Recorded in New York City ; December 30, 1953
[Cd. 1, # 5-8]
Sir Charles Thompson - p
Freddie Greene - g
Walter Page - b
Jo Jones - dr
Recorded in New York City ; January 22, 1954
[Cd. 2, # 1-5]
Coleman Hawkins - ts
Earl Warren - as
Emmett Berry - tp
Benny Morton - tb
Sir Charles Thompson - p
Steve Jordan - g
Aaron Bell - b
Osie Johnson - dr
Recorded in New York City ; August 16, 1954
[Cd. 2, # 6-11]
Sir Charles Thompson - p
Skeeter Best - g
Aaron Bell - b
Recorded in New York City ; February 16, 1955


Melanchthon said...

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much.

Anonymous said...

Thank You! I Love It.

deGallo said...

Thank you.

francisco santos said...


Anonymous said...

Thank you very much

DEEP said...


adakun said...

Muchas gracias Mel.

sandor essedy said...

Merci beaucoup pour ce double Sir Charles Thompson.

Kovina Kris said...

Wow. Very cool to see someone I've never heard of once again. This is a very intriguing post. Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, Mel!

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Fantastic post! Thank you very much!

ramson said...

Great, great thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

Mahalo nui loa!