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Modern Jazz Group
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  • Lucky Thompson was very active in the recording studios during his 1956 visit to France; this CD in Verve's attractive Jazz in Paris reissue series features the big toned tenor saxophonist with both a quartet and a tentet. Thompson's lush sound in sensitive interpretations of "The Man I Love" and the less familiar ballad "There's No You" brings Ben Webster to mind. Thompson's original "Tight Squeeze" is an up-tempo jump blues which showcases his harder blowing, more boppish side; while the venerable standard "Gone With the Wind" is a brisk swinger. Pianist Henri Renaud leads the potent rhythm section. The tentet session is less memorable. All of the songs were written by Renaud, and while they are comparable to much of the output of so-called "cool school" of the period, they tend to be a little too conservative. Still, Thompson's playing is at a high label throughout both dates, so bop fans should invest in this enjoyable CD. ~ Ken Dryden
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