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First Light

by Barbara Thompson

  • Digital Album
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  • Limited edition compact disc
    Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Specially produced by Jazz In Britain in partnership with Cure Parkinson’s and Temple Music with all net profits being donated to Cure Parkinson’s. It will be released on 2nd June, the day of the memorial concert being held for Barbara Thompson at the Union Chapel in Islington, London. The disc will be launched at the concert, but is available to pre-order for those unable to attend the gig.

    Presented in a replica gatefold card sleeve, the album features three recently discovered, previously un-released, early seventies Barbara Thompson sessions. The earliest session from 1971 features the first ever appearance of Group E and may be one of the very few times that Barbara played with Blue Notes bassist Johnny Dyani.

    The second session is also interesting in that it’s a fairly big, 12-piece, band including some very famous name soloists and consists of a three-part suite called The Awakening. Featured soloists are Barbara, Don Rendell, Henry Lowther (on violin) and Barbara’s husband Jon Hiseman.

    The third session is a very early version of the band Jubiaba, recorded nearly 6 years before their first album was released, and again features a superb group of musicians including Trevor Tomkins and Ian Carr.

    Includes unlimited streaming of First Light via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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The Tie Game 14:27
Threnody 06:43
Favela 05:27
Esmeralda's 04:17
Black Pearl 06:40


Note: due to the charity nature of this release, this album is not included in the Jazz In Britain subscription.

Jazz In Britain was very fortunate recently to receive a large collection of reel tapes and discover three early seventies Barbara Thompson sessions amongst it, sessions that we don’t believe have been circulated before. We proposed to Barbara’s daughter Ana Gracey that we produce an album using these three sessions as a way of raising extra money for Cure Parkinson’s.

The audio fidelity of these sessions reflects the fact that they were recorded on a very low speed tape machine but they presented a wonderful opportunity to create something special to raise funds for the Parkinson’s charity.

They’re very interesting sessions nonetheless and well worth hearing.
So, you’re not only getting some very interesting music but, at the same time, making a donation to the charity which is doing crucial work on the disease from which Barbara Thompson suffered for many years.


released June 12, 2023

Recordings from the Colin Drury reel tape archive

Audio restoration by Christophe Martyn

Publishing - Track 6, Maxwood Music Limited, all other tracks, Copyright Control

Cover image courtesy of the Neil Ardley archive

Designed by Pete Woodman

Produced by Ana Gracey & John Thurlow

Special thanks to Vivien Ardley, Roy Babbington, Ian Carr Trust, George Chisholm, Chris Clyne, Thomas Dyani, Pepi Knight, Pete Lemer, Henry Lowther, Trevor Tomkins’ family, Mark Wheeler, Norma Winstone and Kelly Scott & Sophie Priestley at Cure Parkinson’s

℗ & © Jazz In Britain Ltd & Temple Music Services Ltd 2023

All net profits from the sale of this CD go to Cure Parkinson’s

Cure Parkinson’s is the operating name of The Cure Parkinson’s Trust, a registered charity in England and Wales (1111816) and Scotland (SCO44368) and a company limited by guarantee - company number 05539974 (England and Wales)

GROUP E (1971)
1. The Tie Game [Thompson, Lemer, Lemer]
2. Threnody [Thompson]
Barbara Thompson - tenor & soprano sax, alto flute; Pete Lemer - piano; Johnny Dyani - bass; Laurie Allan - drums; Pepi Lemer - voice.

BIG BAND (1972)
The Awakening [Thompson, Hiseman]
3. First Light
4. Second Light
5. Daylight
Ian Hamer, Kenny Wheeler - trumpet, flugelhorn; Henry Lowther - trumpet, flugelhorn, violin; Derek Wadsworth - trombone; Don Rendell, Barbara Thompson - saxes, flutes; Charles Tunnell - cello; Howard Riley - piano, electric piano, organ; Bill LeSage - electric piano, organ, vibes, percussion; Jeff Clyne - bass, bass guitar; Jon Hiseman - drums; Norma Winstone – voice; Neil Ardley – director.

JUBIABA (1972)
6. Miguel The Speed Freak [Lemer, Allan]
7. Favela [Thompson]
8. Esmeralda’s [LeSage]
9. Touch of Blue [Thompson]
10. Black Pearl [Wadsworth]
George Chisholm, Ian Carr – trumpet, flugelhorn; Derek Wadsworth – trombone, electronic trombone, didgeridoo; Barbara Thompson – tenor sax, flute; Bill LeSage – vibes; Pete Lemer – piano, electric piano; Roy Babbington – bass guitar; Martin Drew – drums; Trevor Tomkins - percussion.


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Jazz In Britain Holmfirth, UK

A not-for-profit organisation, whose aim is to collect, curate, preserve, celebrate and promote the legacy of British jazz musicians. The archive collects, curates and preserves off-air and other recordings of British jazz performances.
The organisation will publish books, release vinyl, CDs and downloads, working in partnership with musicians and their families.
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