Friday, 15 September 2017

Review of another violinist: the great Didier Lockwood, with his relatively unknown album from 1978: Thank You Friends

We covered David Rose long ago, Zbiggy Seifert more recently, Zippy Reinhardt less recently, and here we are now with Lockwood.  There is also the slightly  lesser known French violinist Michel Ripoche who was covered extensively in the prognotfrog days of the paleozoic.

When I was desperate to hear Lockwood's New World again recently (to restore the masterpieces to my fixed ipod) I saw to my dismay there was an item in his oeuvre outstanding from 1978, namely this one he made in collaboration with the great Francois Cahen (who I just read passed away in 2011).  Everyone knows with whom he played, right?

Consider the dreamy atmospherics of Reves de Musique:

And then consider the fact that it's representative of the entirety of this wonderful LP filled with long and well-thought-out tracks and advanced composition.

For ages my favourite piece from Lockwood has been La manufacture du sucre englouti:

It's so beautiful it's like magic.  With (co-composer) Gordon Beck on piano, starting off by channeling Bill Evans obviously but moving on to create an amazing amalgam of classical Ravel and the tenderest jazz piano.  Those were the days, right?  (I'm not sure wherefrom the curious title derives, it means The manufacture of submerged sugar).

I didn't include the 1981 Fusion which is good but well-distributed online, but I did the next year's Fasten Seatbelts, which despite a couple of tracks is mostly disappointing.  Having said that, listen to his ingenious musical exploration of the largest blood vessel, the Aorta:

Btw reviewing Lockwood reminded me of the Catherine - Escoude - Lockwood trio album from here.  For those with better memories than myself, Didier also appeared (with Escoude) on the amazing String Summit record that featured Wolfgang Dauner.  And I should mention his brother the keyboardist Francis who also made some great fusion records back in the day, including Debbi.

So who's the best of the fusion violinists?  The overpopular Jean-Luc Ponty, David Rose, Reinhardt, Zbiggy Seifert, Michel Ripoche, or our current feature?  In all honesty the best single album is Seifert's Passion, but as a whole, Lockwood had the most amazing work, especially when you listen to Surya and the way it flows together so beautifully from start to finish.


  1. Thank you Lockwood & Cahen
    lossless lovers limited

    Surya 77

    New World 79

    Fasten Seatbelts 81

    Kid 1982 (It's amazing that only 4 years separate the first from this horrific album with almost nothing to redeem it)

    Trio 1983 with Philippe Catherine and my old favourite Christian Escoude (Good, mostly thanks to the latter's great compositions)

    1. new upload of the thank you friends album

  2. Surya is still my all-time No. 1 fusion record. To me it represents the absolute peak of fusion. It's so incredibly powerful and polyrhythmic, an explosion of energy (so we should call it fission?), yet so reduced and tender at times. This record ruined the audio system of my car because one should listen to this beyond maximum volume.

    1. yes, well said! Surya is for sure a masterpiece...

  3. Thanks Julian, some of these were missing in my collection. I hate making comparisons they are all obviously great musicians. Maybe comparing vision is more suitable. Anyway Zbiggy is my favorite but so what, everybody has different taste. There are three other albums with D.Lockwood, would you happen to have?
    Didier Lockwood, Jannick Top, Christian Vander, Benoît Widemann ‎– Fusion 1981

    Didier Lockwood Quartet ‎– Live At The Olympia Hall 1986

    Didier Lockwood Group ‎– Didier Lockwood Group 1984

  4. HERE'S fusion 1981 and live Montreux from 1980

    Looks like I'm missing the other two you mentioned too, anyone can help? with the disappointment of 'the kid' I can't say I'm too eager to hear anything post-1983

  5. Thanks Julian, very much appreciated, here's more Didier:

    SURYA - A L'OUEST DE LA GROSNE - Bresse sur Grosne FRANCE 1978 mp3 (320)

    Didier Lockwood Volklor 1976 – Jazz & Rock
    Francis Lockwood Debbi 1981 (320)

    Philip Catherine, Didier Lockwood & Christian Escoude, sessions for the Tempo radio show, Paris-France Maison de la radio 1984 and 1985, FM masters (320)

    Jannick Top presente Fusion Paris 80 (160)

    Hope you like it.
    Thanks to the original uploaders!

    1. WOW is right! thank you Franco Cretino & Julian for passing it on. It will take a while to take it all in but that's a good thing.

    2. Links for cd2 et cd3 for surya are dead

  6. For all people requesting it, here is Didier Lockwood Group-S/T from 1984, flac download:

    1. thanks! missing for me too! here is mp3 version for those who prefer:

    2. Thanks apps79 and thanks Julian

    3. Julian, Just wanted to thank you again for everything. The Franco Cretino contributions are awesome. The Didier Lockwood Group has that smoother sound but I appreciate the opportunity to check it out so thank you apps79. I was wondering if you have given any thought to going private, the amount of work you do to keep this blog going compared to the appreciation is shameful. On another note I am looking for anoter album, don't know if you can be of any help but here it is. Heinz Sauer Quartet Isolation Row with one of my favorite bass players Adelhard Roidinger

      All the best to you Julian

    4. not an issue for me at all, thanks
      will look at that request

    5. great album JM, do you have more from him/them?

  7. Talking fusion violin and no mention of Jerry Goodman. Well, each to his own. And by the way no mention of Lockwood's time with Magma.

  8. thanks fot this discography :)

  9. Nous avons l'immense douleur, avec son épouse, ses trois filles, sa famille, son agent, ses collaborateurs et sa maison de disque, de vous faire part de la disparition brutale de Didier Lockwood dans sa 63 ème année, le dimanche 18 février 2018.

    President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute Monday to the musician he called a “friend and partner of the greatest” and said possessed “influence, open-mindedness and immense musical talent” that will be missed.

    Clearlight 1978-04-08 Paris Olympia flac

    Radio Jazz Group Stuttgart 1980 Stuttgart flac

    Synthesis 1976 (mp3 256)

    Visitors 1974 (256)

    Bernd Konrad - Hans Koller Unit with Didier Lockwood 1980 Phonolith (192)

  10. RIP Didier. Is it possible to share the Thank You Friends album in lossless once more, please?