Barbara Thompson (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Barbara Gracey Thompson
2010-11-01 Colosseum, Brueckenforum, Bonn IMG 6440 Barbara Thompson.jpg
Barbara Thompson in 2010
Background information
Born Oxford, United Kingdom
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Saxophonist, flautist, composer
Associated acts Rod Argent
United Jazz and Rock Ensemble
Notable instruments
Saxophone, flute

Barbara Gracey Thompson MBE is an English jazz saxophonist, flautist and composer. She studied clarinet, flute, piano 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. Since 1967, she has been married to drummer Jon Hiseman of Colosseum.[1]

Barbara Thompson, 1992


Around 1970, Thompson was part of Neil Ardley's New Jazz Orchestra[2][3] and appeared on albums by Colosseum.[4] Starting in 1975, she was involved in the foundation of three bands:

She was awarded the MBE in 1996 for services to music. Due to Parkinson's disease diagnosed in 1997, she retired as an active saxophonist in 2001 with a farewell tour.[5] After a period of working as a composer exclusively, she returned to the stage in 2003[8] to replace the unwell Dick Heckstall-Smith during Colosseum's "Tomorrow's Blues" tour, and in 2005 she performed live with Paraphernalia in their "Never Say Goodbye" tour. Since 2004 she has been a permanent member of Colosseum.[citation needed]

Thompson has worked closely with Andrew Lloyd Webber on musicals[5] such as Cats and Starlight Express and on his Requiem. 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 popular 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.


Since 1967, Thompson has been married to Colosseum drummer Jon Hiseman. Their son Marcus was born in 1972, and their daughter Anna (now known as singer/songwriter Ana Gracey) in 1975.[citation needed]


  • The Man Who Took The Valise Off The Floor Of Grand Central Station At Noon - The She Trinity (1966)
  • Angle- Howard Riley Trio (1968)
  • Valentyne Suite- Colosseum (1969)
  • Daughter of Time- Colosseum (1970)
  • Michael Gibbs- Michael Gibbs (1970)
  • Little Big Band -Keef Hartley Band (1971)
  • The Beginning – Vol. 6: Keef Hartley Band- Keef Hartley Band (1973)
  • Saxophone on The Roaring Silence- Manfred Mann's Earth Band (1976)
  • Kaleidoscope Of Rainbows- Neil Ardley (1976)
  • Live Im Schuetzenhaus- United Jazz and Rock Ensemble (1977)
  • NDR Jazzworkshop '77- Various Artists (1977)
  • Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia- Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia(Roy Babbington, Harold Fisher, Colin Dudman) MCA MCF 2852(1978)
  • Barbara Thompson's Jubiaba- Barbara Thompson (1978)
  • Variations- Andrew Lloyd Webber (1978)
  • Harmony of the Spheres- Neil Ardley (1978)
  • Teamwork- United Jazz and Rock Ensemble (1978)
  • Wilde Tales- Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia (1979)
  • Tell Me On A Sunday- Marti Webb (1979)
  • The Break Even Point- United Jazz and Rock Ensemble (1979)
  • Live In Concert- Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia (1980)
  • Chance- Manfred Mann's Earth Band (1980)
  • Cats- Andrew Lloyd Webber (1981)
  • Live in Berlin- United Jazz and Rock Ensemble (1981)
  • Zwischenbilanz-Das Beste aus den Jahren 1977–1981- United Jazz and Rock Ensemble (1981)
  • Mother Earth- Barbara Thompson (1982)
  • Ghosts- Barabara Thompson/Rod Argent (1982)
  • Cool Cat- Jeff Wohlgenannt and Friends (1983)
  • Requiem- Andrew Lloyd Webber (1983)
  • Pure Fantasy- Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia (1984)
  • United Live Opus sechs- United Jazz and Rock Ensemble (1984)
  • Frauen-Power- Various Artists (1985)
  • Shadow Show- Barbara Thompson/Rod Argent (1985)
  • Live im Berliner Metropol-Theater- Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia (1985)
  • Heavenly Bodies- Barbara Thompson (1986)
  • Ganz schoen heiss, Man! About Time Too!- Jon Hiseman (1986)
  • Highlights II- United Jazz and Rock Ensemble (1987)
  • A Cry From The Heart- Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia Live in London (1988)
  • Songs From The Center Of The Earth- Barbara Thompson (1990)
  • Perspective '92- Various Artists (1991)
  • Breathless- Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia (1991)
  • Round Seven- United Jazz and Rock Ensemble (1992)
  • Everlasting Flame- Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia (1993)
  • Barbara Song- Barbara Thompson and the Medici String Quartet (1995)
  • Lady Saxophone- Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia (1995)
  • Die Neunte von United- United Jazz and Rock Ensemble (1996)
  • Women's Music From Celestial Harmonies- Various Artists (1996)
  • Shifting Sands- Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia (1998)
  • The Sound Inside / Music And Architecture- Various Artists (1998)
  • X- United Jazz and Rock Ensemble (1999)
  • Thompson's Tangos and other soft Dances- Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia (2000)
  • Cuff Clout- Kate and Mike Westbrook (2001)
  • In the Eye of a Storm- Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia (2003)
  • 2006- Manfred Mann '06 with Manfred Mann's Earth Band (2004)
  • Never Say Goodbye- Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia (2005)
  • Live05- Colosseum 2007)
  • George Martin Presents- Barbara Thompson (2011)
  • Live '05- Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia (DVD) (2014)


  1. ^ a b Barbara Thompson biography at Retrieved 2011-01-09.
  2. ^ Neil Ardley at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-01-09.
  3. ^ New Jazz Orchestra: Camden '70 – credits at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-01-09.
  4. ^ Barbara Thompson – credits at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-01-09.
  5. ^ a b c d Mathieson, Kenny (April 2001). "British Beat: Saxophonist Barbara Thompson". All About Jazz. Archived from the original on 2001-07-10. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  6. ^ United Jazz + Rock Ensemble at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-01-09.
  7. ^ Jubiaba – credits at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-01-09.
  8. ^ Colosseum live at Rockpalast, September 27, 2003 (YouTube)

External links[edit]