Seattleâ€™s Earshot Jazz magazine has a nice article by Philip Coady on Lucky Thompson. It includes stories about Clark Terryâ€™s visits to his old friend before Thompson died. Coady also describes Ellis and Branford Marsalis going to Thompsonâ€™s hospital room and drawing out a man who had been mostly silent for years.
Branford played for Lucky, and in a moment none of us will ever forget, Lucky asked for something. In my years of visiting Lucky, I was always trying to discover what I could bring for him from the â€œoutside.â€ â€œIs there anyting I can do for you?â€ I asked. But Lucky always replied, â€œJust be happy. Thatâ€™s all I want.â€ This was repeated hundreds of times. Frankly, I had just never heard Lucky ask for anythingâ€”until this moment.
He asked Branford to play some more. â€œIâ€™d like to hear more,â€ he said. This was coming from a man who hadnâ€™t asked for anything in years.
Go here to read the piece and all of Earshotâ€™s online pdf edition. Be patient. It takes a moment for the pdf to download.