One of the finest saxophone player ever… Barbara Thompson:
Barbara Gracey Thompson MBE (born 27 July 1944) is an English jazz saxophonist. She studied saxophone and classical composition at the Royal College of Music, but the music of Duke Ellington and John Coltrane made her shift her interests to jazz and saxophone. She was married to drummer Jon Hiseman of Colosseum from 1967 until his death in 2018.
Around 1970, Thompson was part of Neil Ardley’s New Jazz Orchestra and appeared on albums by Colosseum. Beginning in 1975, she was involved in the foundation of three bands:
United Jazz and Rock Ensemble, a ‘band of bandleaders’ …
Barbara Thompson’s Jubiaba and:
Barbara Thompson’s Paraphernalia, her most recent band
She was awarded the MBE in 1996 for services to music. Due to Parkinson’s disease, which was diagnosed in 1997, she retired as an active saxophonist in 2001 with a farewell tour. After a period of working as a composer exclusively, she returned to the stage in 2003.
Thompson has worked closely with Andrew Lloyd Webber on musicals such as Cats and Starlight Express, his Requiem, and Lloyd Webber’s 1978 classical-fusion album Variations. She has written several classical compositions, music for film and television, a musical of her own and songs for the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble, Barbara Thompson’s Paraphernalia and her big band Moving Parts.
She played the incidental music in the ITV police series A Touch of Frost starring David Jason. She also played flute on Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds.
From 1967, until he died in June 2018, Thompson was married to the Colosseum drummer Jon Hiseman. The couple’s son Marcus was born in 1972, and their daughter Anna (now known as singer/songwriter Ana Gracey) in 1975. (wikipedia)
And here´s another brilliant album … criminally underrated …:
In the aesthetic sense, Barbara Thompson has never been a revolutionary. She has not developed a new style, a new attitude or a new concept. But that was never her intention. She was more concerned with breaking the “men among themselves” attitude and drawing her audience deeper into her music than was usual in the eccentric jazz of the seventies. Her trademark was captivating, inviting but uncompromising jazz rock. She liberated her jazz from all reservations. Her fearless openness made it easier for her to incorporate all imaginable genres – whether classical, pop or world music – into her music and to move light-footedly between the various contradictory schools and eras of jazz without ever having to resort to programmatic thinking or logos.
By bringing together what was excluded elsewhere, she perfected and refined the ideas of her more experimental contemporaries. But unlike many of her male colleagues, Barbara Thompson found recognition where jazz usually had no chance. She broke with the American pattern early on. She didn’t necessarily explore new territory in European jazz, but she gave it a new face from which it still benefits today. From the beginning, she cultivated a language that promised to be timeless and that could adopt a wide variety of styles without distorting them. As such, her ornamental, arabesque compositions, in which the not-too-soft sound of the saxophone remains organic and leads back into the ensemble, have lost none of their hypnotic fire.
“Never Say Goodbye” is a stunning and – for some perhaps – unexpected return from one of the most prolific musicians around. (intuition-music. com)
Dave Ball (bass)
Jon Hiseman (drums)
Peter Lemer (piano)
Barbara Thompson (saxophone, clarinet)
Billy Thompson (violin)
Rob Buckland (saxophone on 03.)
Ana Gracey (vocals on 04.)
Andy Scott (saxophone on 03.)
Andy Wood – Gordon Campbell – Mark Nightingale
Derek Watkins – Paul Spong – Simon Gardner – Stuart Brooks
Living In The Fast Lane (Concerto in three movements)
01.On The Wings Of A Prayer (Thompson) 5.24
02. Still Waters (Thompson) 7.32
03. Living In The Fast Lane (Thompson) 7.17
04. Never Say Goodbye (The Tango That Got Away)(Thompson) 7.56
05. Giant Steps (Coltane) 6.05
06. Finger Dancing (Thompson) 7.09
07. Son Of A Gun (Thompson) 5.30
08. Are You Real (Golson) 6.42