Friday, July 21, 2006
Malachi Thompson, 1949-2006
Midnight has come and gone for Malachi Thompson.
It's not fair, but I always perceived Malachi Thompson as standing in Lester Bowie's shadow. Both men were experimental jazz trumpeters based in Chicago. Bowie wore a white lab coat, had flashy hair and an effective publicity machine. Thompson was no less creative but he never enjoyed widespread acclaim. This relatively straight reading of "'Round Midnight" is somewhat atypical. The same 1998 release, for instance, contains a "science fiction short story" titled Worm Hole. Even so, Thompson can't restrain himself on the plaintive ballad- don't miss the wacky quote at the 3:10 mark. Thompson died on July 16 after a prolonged struggle with cancer.