Thompson, Donald Winston
Donald Winston Thompson, "Don," jazz musician (b at Powell River, BC, 18 Jan 1940). Self-taught as a bass, piano and vibraphone player, and comfortable in a wide range of styles, Thompson has developed a versatility largely without precedent in contemporary jazz. He began his career in Vancouver in 1960 with Chris Gage and others, then travelled in 1965 and 1966 in the US with saxophonist John Handy (appearing as the bassist on Handy's popular Live at Monterey LP) before moving to Toronto in 1969. He was a member of Rob MCCONNELL's Boss Brass from 1969 to 1993, initially serving as bassist and latterly as pianist.
Thompson has also had productive associations with one or both instruments with the Canadian guitarists Ed BICKERT and Sonny GREENWICH, the US guitarist Jim Hall (1976-90) and the British pianist George Shearing (1982-87). Thompson's discography includes 11 albums under his own name from 1969 to 1996 and many others as sideman to Greenwich, Hall, Shearing, Jim GALLOWAY, Paul Desmond, Jay McShann, etc. The LP Ed Bickert/Don Thompson won a Juno award in 1980, as did Thompson's own A Beautiful Friendship in 1985. Thompson has also played an important role as a teacher - privately, at colleges and universities in the Toronto area and at the Banff Centre for the Arts Jazz Workshop.