Danny Thompson

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For other people named Danny Thompson, see Danny Thompson (disambiguation).
Danny Thompson
Danny Thompson.JPG
Thompson backing Martin Simpson in 2008
Folk by the Oak Festival
Photo: David Laws
Background information
Birth name Daniel Henry Edward Thompson
Born (1939-04-04) 4 April 1939 (age 77)
Teignmouth, Devon, England
Genres Folk, rock, jazz, blues, skiffle
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, record producer
Instruments Upright bass, guitar, mandolin, trumpet, trombone, tea chest bass
Labels Island Records
Associated acts Pentangle, Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated,
Website Danny Thompson.co.uk

Daniel Henry Edward "Danny" Thompson (born 4 April 1939) is an English multi-instrumentalist best known as a double bassist. He has had a long musical career playing with a large variety of other musicians, particularly Richard Thompson (no relation) and John Martyn, but including many others.

For four years (1964-1967), he was a member of Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated, and he was a founding member of the British folk-jazz band Pentangle. Since 1987, he has also recorded four solo albums. He converted to Islam in 1990.[1]

Biography and career[edit]

Thompson was born in Teignmouth, Devon. His father, a miner, joined the Royal Navy at the start of World War II and was lost in action whilst crewing submarines. When Thompson was aged 6, the family moved to London and he was brought up in the working-class area of Battersea. At school he played competitive football and was a junior for Chelsea, the team he has supported ever since. Whilst at school he learnt guitar, mandolin, trumpet and trombone before settling on the upright bass as his instrument of choice.

While he has his own album releases Thompson is predominantly a session musician contributing to other artists, such as with Richard Thompson e.g. Mirror Blue, The Old Kit Bag, and the concert DVD release Richard Thompson Live in Austin Texas, from the Austin City Limits televised concerts.

Danny Thompson lived in Clopton, Suffolk during the late 1970s and early 80s with his wife Daphne and son Dan (Danny Junior who went on to be the drummer with Hawkwind (1985–88)) Early in the 1980s he moved back to London. He received a Lifetime achievement award in the 2007 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

In the early part of the 1980s he worked closely with documentary film-maker, Roy Deverell and composed music for two of his award-winning films, Echo of the Wild and A Passion to Protect. The films are about John Aspinall's pioneering work with endangered mammals.

Partial discography[edit]

Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated[edit]

  • Red Hot from Alex (1964)
  • Sky High (1966)
  • Blues Incorporated (1967 - re-issue of Sky High)

Alexis Korner[edit]

  • I Wonder Who (1967)
  • A New Generation of Blues (1968)


Danny Thompson[edit]

  • Whatever (1987)
  • Whatever Next (1989)
  • Elemental (1990)
  • Whatever’s Best (1995)
  • Danny Thompson & Peter Knight (1995)

Richard Thompson and Danny Thompson[edit]

Jon Thorne & Danny Thompson[edit]

  • Watching the Well (2010)


Danny Thompson has played on dozens of albums and singles during his career. The following is only a small selection.


  1. ^ [1] "In 1999 Danny was interviewed for the BBC TV series Faces of Islam in which he discussed becoming a Muslim and his realisation of the fact that whilst he had only converted to Islam in 1990, the Muslim faith had always been within him."

External links[edit]