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Musician

Gail Thompson

Born:

A gifted British baritone player, composer, flutist, and big-band leader, Gail Thompson’s music is comparable to that of Quincy Jones or Abdullah Ibrahim. Along with her hard bop jazz sound, she stirs in a soulful touch of African spirit and rhythm. Near the end of the ’80s, Thompson traveled by truck through Africa to reach Kenya. The experience clearly left its mark on her compositions. Thompson has performed with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers making her the only female Messenger ever, the Charlie Watts Orchestra, and the National Youth Orchestra; she has worked for Mick Jagger’s music company as director and she worked with Courtney Pine to help found the Jazz Warriors

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Article: Book Excerpts

Giant Steps: Diverse Journeys in British Jazz

Read "Giant Steps: Diverse Journeys in British Jazz" reviewed by David Burke


The following is a revised excerpt from “Chapter 3: Full Force Gail" of Giant Steps: Diverse Journeys in British Jazz by David Burke (Desert Hearts, 2021). In the 1980s, a new generation of black British musicians began to reconfigure the country's jazz scene, changing the face -and sound-of what had previously been a ...

8

Article: Book Review

Giant Steps: Diverse Journeys in British Jazz

Read "Giant Steps: Diverse Journeys in British Jazz" reviewed by Chris May


Giant Steps: Diverse Journeys in British Jazz David Burke 240 Pages ISBN: 9781908755483 Desert Hearts 2021 David Burke's survey of British jazz musicians of colour does not begin promisingly. The first sentence of his Foreword reads: “Jazz is, of course, African-American in provenance, just as the greatest ...

3

Article: Extended Analysis

Maria Baptist: Music for Jazz Orchestra

Read "Maria Baptist: Music for Jazz Orchestra" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Like it or not, a new wave of young composer / arrangers has surfaced, scrupulously guiding big bands into heretofore uncharted waters, now and then smooth, at other times choppy, but always intriguing and inspired. Maria Schneider, George Gruntz, Jim McNeely and Carla Bley were among the pacesetters, followed in short order by such (relative) newcomers ...

Album

JADU

Label: Enja Records
Released: 2001
Track listing: Stopover Sydney; Dumela Azania; Surfers

150

Article: Album Review

Gail Thompson and the Jazz Africa All Nations Big Band: JADU

Read "JADU" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Gail Thompson, a rising young star on the British Jazz scene, founded the Jazz Africa Project about a dozen years ago. From that initiative came the Jazz Africa All Nations Big Band, which has been delighting audiences all over Great Britain ever since. The ensemble gained further recognition at the 1995 Duisburg “Viva la Black!” Festival ...


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