Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Luther Thomas & Rune Larsen Play Street Music

Luther Thomas was a complicated cat, both personally and musically. We will only deal with the latter here. In the summer of 2001 he and Rune Larsen did some street busking as a duo in the Christiana section of Copenhagen. Luckily somebody taped nearly an hour of them in action and it is avalable as Busking in Christiana (Ayler Download 029).

First off, this is casual music-making. That's understandable given the time and place. They are on occasion accompanied by police sirens, dogs barking and general city-life sound. Such context only adds to the charm. It is deceptively casual, though, for there is some beautiful music-making going on.

What you get is Luther's alto and Rune's accordion naked, so to speak. They are playing jazz standards from swingtime on--"Tea for Two," "Autumn Leaves," "Take the A Train," "Blue Monk," etc. It shows you a side of Luther Thomas that you don't often get--the traditionalist that still gives out with outness. And the accordion of Mr. Larsen here is something else. He accompanies with ease, making the whole enterprise swing, suggesting stride sometimes, or a bop sort of bass and comping other times.

This is no classic. It is an absolute hoot though. There's nothing quite like it and it gives you a very sizable portion of why Luther Thomas was a magnificent player. Get it for some good fun and palpable insights. You must go to the Ayler site to get it. See the link on the right,

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