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Danny Thompson

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by oliebrice, Aug 31, 2004.


  1. oliebrice

    oliebrice

    Apr 7, 2003
    London, UK
    Don't know how aware US TBers might be of Danny Thompson... he's best known for playing on folk records, albeit the jazzy end of folk (John Martyn, Pentangle, fairport Convention, Sandy Denny) but has done loads of jazz as well.

    definately the sound that initially made me want to play the bass, he is for my money the best ever english bassist along with Dave Holland. Especially tone wise.

    To hear him at his best check out any trio stuff by John Martyn in the 70s with John Stevens on drums (one of the finest drummers ever as well...)
     
  2. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    He sounded great on Pentangle's "Basket Of Light". Great tone, as you said.

    I played with John Martyn a few years ago, very interesting stuff.
     
  3. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I tried to add Danny Thompson to the "Best Bassists" thread, but it didn't take - :scowl:

    Of course I grew up in London, so I know him from that - I haven't seen/heard much about him since I've been here in the USA.

    Since I didn't grow up with Jazz (it's a recent exploration for me) Danny was my first exposure to DB, and one of the main reasons that I always wanted to play it.

    Andy
     
  4. abaguer

    abaguer

    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    I just played at the National Folk Festival in Bangor Maine and was talking to Dave Mattacks about Danny Thompson. He's on a bunch of Richard Thompson cds. There are a lot of live albums of those two in duo and bad situations. I love his playing and am always looking for more stuff with him. With Richard Thompson he really does some fine playing.
     
  5. Speaking of English bassists, are any of you guys old enough to remember Johnny Hawksworth? I used to listen to him when I was a kid...he was with that big band Ted Heath. I think he used an amp? Maybe a high C string? As I remember, he had alot of chops and was a kinda "show biz" kind cat.
     
  6. oliebrice

    oliebrice

    Apr 7, 2003
    London, UK
    theres some great live stuff with John Martyn, bootlegs and official releases
     
  7. oliebrice

    oliebrice

    Apr 7, 2003
    London, UK
    tell us more! I love John Martyn's stuff, especially round the era of solid air...
     
  8. Dorian

    Dorian

    Aug 24, 2004
    Bristol, UK
    I've just been listening to a great Danny Thompson solo CD called 'Whatever', featuring Bernie Holland on guitar and Tony Roberts on saxes, flutes and northumbrian pipes.

    All instrumental stuff with a heavy folky slant. Highly recommended.
     
  9. I hate to barge in here....but i'm 1/2 English, so I guess it's ok.
    What the hell are northumbrian pipes? I'm assuming some kinda bag pipes from northumbria??

    And Dorian, welcome to TBDB! Please fill out a little more of your profile. Especially where you're from.
     
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Danny Thompson played with "Everything but the Girl" on a few studio albums - my favourite is "Amplified Heart".

    He also toured with them and was on various TV programmes that I have recorded - and in fact you can get a DVD of EBTG which includes 3 live tracks - although I've never seen it?

    He also played on favourte albums of mine by 'Talk Talk' and David Sylvian.

    Amazon lists about 25 CDs in which he is involved :

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos...ld-artist=Thompson, Danny/202-7492639-8971039

    Trio with John McLaughlin looks interesting, although I've never heard it!
     
  11. oliebrice

    oliebrice

    Apr 7, 2003
    London, UK
    paul, northumbrian pipes are mad things, a bit like bagpipes but bigger and more complicated and much more lovely sounding, they have drone pipes and melody pipes like bagpipes though.
     
  12. oliebrice

    oliebrice

    Apr 7, 2003
    London, UK
    and while we're on the subject of great english bass players, Paul Rodgers (the improv/free jazz dbist, not the singer with Free) is incredible as well.
     
  13. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Well, he came through Maui years ago and we performed at a local club. Trio w/drummer. As I recall, he played with a surprising amount of volume and electronic processing. He was a nice enough guy, quite demanding in the intonation department ;). The tunes were interesting, very angular and quirky. I'd forgotten about that gig until his name was brought up.
     
  14. Last I heard Paul was located in Paris. I saw him at Brecon do a set with Paul Dunmall (free UK saxes) who brought out for a couple of numbers a set of bagpipes! Not Scotish and I don't think they were Northumbrian - BTW, I thought Northumbrian pipes were played with a bellow under the arm like Irish pipes.

    I always thought it amazing that Paul, who was also playing a five stringer when I last saw him, knocked seven shades of ***t out of his bass and then put in lovingingly in a case that had more quilting than a rappers puffa jacket.
     
  15. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Nicely said, Mike!
     
  16. Dorian

    Dorian

    Aug 24, 2004
    Bristol, UK
    Hi folks,

    Sorry for being rude and not replying earlier - I can't use this site at work and I haven't been home for long enough to get on line lately...

    The northumbrian pipes are indeed as described - operated from a bellow and with a more haunting, delicate sound than either the Scottish or Irish pipes.

    By far the most widely known exponent of this instrument is Kathryn Tickell, a great musician who has recorded with Sting, Evelyn Glennie and Andy Sheppard amongst many others. I saw her band two nights ago and am still reeling.

    (to be fair, I must confess that my brother plays in her band as well, but I love the music anyway :D )
     
  17. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I finally managed to secure a copy of this here in Los Angeles - great stuff, just as Dorian describes. This is the blurb from his web page:

    ""I've always been on the fringe of the jazz world and I had an idea to incorporate elements of jazz and folk music, to make a melodic instrumental album with a distinct English flavour."

    The title 'Whatever' was chosen to anticipate the usual question, "do you play blues, jazz or folk?"
    Whatever won praise from the critics as a seamless fusion of jazz, blues, rock and folk, and as an unclassifiable masterpiece. In the critic's poll the album was voted fifteenth in the years top 50 jazz albums."

    His DB tone is beautiful; just as I remember it from John Martyn's early records. Apparently there's at least two other solo albums...I'll be keeping my eye out for those too.
     
  18. I've seen Danny many times live with Richard Thompson. They have developed a really special musical relationship and you just don't know which one to watch on stage. They play at rock'n'roll sound levels, but Danny's sound is always huge anyway and the confidence and musicality of his playing is a joy to experience. Which is not to take away from Richard - one of the best songwriters and performers I know.

    Interestingly, I was digging out old records recently and came across one I'd all but forgotten about by the British blues man Alexis Korner from way back around 1965. And guess who was on double bass with this jazz/blues band - why, our Danny of course!
     
  19. teleharmonium

    teleharmonium

    Dec 2, 2003
  20. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have "Industry" by the pair of them, which I like a lot. Are there any other RT & DT CDs you'd recommend?

    I hope they come to Los Angeles some time soon. That'd be really something :bassist: (plus they'd have an audience of the biggest ex-pat British community in the USA - so I'm told, but I haven't met many others myelf :( ).