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Gareth Thompson

Music journalist, former children's author, now wine adviser by day.

About Me

I grew up in northern England, reviewing gigs and albums for local papers. Moving to London and journalist college, I later worked for the trade mag Music Week (UK equivalent of Billboard). Later I co-edited an acclaimed arts fanzine in Nottingham, before another stint in London at a theatre website. Back in the north-west I began writing for the long-running roots music magazine RNR (Rock 'N' Reel). Along with jazz I like most guitar-based music, modern classical, folk and some proggy stuff. A good singer-songwriter, like the emerging psych-jazz prodigy Kadhja Bonet, always excites me!

My Jazz Story

I love jazz because it has a spiritual dimension in tandem with its musical vibe. I was first exposed to jazz through a friend's ECM collection. And I still love Ralph Towner! I met Bill MacKay when he toured the UK last year with Ryley Walker. The best show I ever attended was at Ronnie Scott's many years ago. A surprise leaving do for my then publisher, Jack Hutton, who was invited on stage to blow with the house band. The first jazz record I bought was probably by Ralph Towner, or someone else on ECM.

My Favorites

  1. Ralph Towner - Solstice Sound And Shadows
  2. Darts & Arrow - Altamira (anything featuring Bill MacKay!)
  3. John Abercrombie - Characters
  4. Collin Walcott - Grazing Dreams
  5. Kadhja Bonet - The Visitor
  6. Muhal Richard Abrams - Young At Heart / Wise In Time
  7. Tim Buckley - Dream Letter, Live In London
  8. Pentangle - Open The Door
  9. Van Morrison - No Guru, No Method, No Teacher