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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Eddie Thompson Trio - Darlington 1964

Scott Adair kindly loaned me this photo, taken at the Bridge Hotel -AKA Opus 3 Jazz Club - in Darlington in September 1964. Pictured, is the legendary pianist Eddie Thompson. Scott is the drummer and Dave Murphy is on bass.
Thompson, who died in 1986, is widely regarded as one of the all-time great British jazz pianomen. Blind since birth, his guide dog would sit faithfully at the side of the piano whilst the master performed. I seem to recall from the days when I used to hang-out at London's Flamingo Club that Eddie's dog was called Max.
Scott remembers that Eddie Thompson was magnificent that particular night playing an up-tempo version of "Tea For Two" so fast that he and Dave Murphy could barely hang on in there and neither of those two boys were/are slouches!
Thanks for the photo and the memory Scott.
Lance.
PS: Look forward to hearing Scott Adair at the Chillingham next Wednesday with the Take It To The Bridge outfit. Laurie Brown (ex Squadronaires) is there on vibes that night so two top guys to see and hear.

8 comments :

Anonymous said...

Eddies dog's name was Maida not Max.

Lance said...

Thanks Vince - at least I got the initial right!

Anonymous said...

Re.Eddie Thompson. I well remember Eddie playing in the Anchor Pub in Brighouse, W.R.Yorkshire, every Thursday night in an upstairs room.His seamless medleys of jazz standards requested by the audience were a delight.This must have been around 1974/5. The landlord was an ex-jazz flautist called Rod(last name unknown)who introduced me to Ronnie Scott at a concert in Bridlington.Eddie made a short tv series called "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing"around this time for BBC Bristol which was recorded at the BBC studios in Woodhouse Lane, Leeds.We were invited to the first session and I remember watching the whole series on tv but can find no info. on this series or anything on You-Tube.Coincidentally,Eddie introduced a lady singer, who, in his words, was making a comeback after a long illness. The lady was Marian Williams, very Lena Horne-ish and with a beautiful voice.Again...no info.can be found except that she sang with Dankworth before being supplanted by Cleo Laine.
Dave van de gevel
Zakynthos
Greece

Lance said...

Hi Dave - I remember Marian Williams well. Apart from her voice she had a couple of other assets that made her unforgettable!
She also sang with Eric Delaney and Oscar Rabin. This was back in the 1950s.

gnarps said...

Actually you are both right. Eddie's dog was named Max and when Max died, Eddie acquired a new guide dog whose name was Maida! I had the pleasure to meet Eddie when he visited Canada back around 1970 or so. I recall how he dove into the water off the dock at our cottage with no hesitation, fearless, despite his blindness. Probably an apt metaphor for how he lived his life.

Derek said...

Eddie had a unique sense of humour
and I was often playing straight man. People who didn't catch on hated me for what was said.
Example:
Eddie "I read a book last night"
Me: "Nothing clever in that, I also read a book last night.
Eddie: "Under the covers with the lights out?"
He always used to say "I know that I am blind, I wish other people could accept that and treat me as they would anyone else, instead of trying to not hurt my feelings.
I learned a lot from Eddie and think of him often. he is sorely missed.
Derek.

Lance said...

Thanks Derek (?) I'm sure you've got a lot more stories to tell of the era - love to hear them.

Annie said...

His dog prior to Maida was called Max

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