D.T. Thompson - Tenor Sax

Don D.T. Thompson - Tenor Sax

Steve Hutt - Baritone Sax

Bill Bridges - Guitar

Brian Murphy - Hammond Organ/Bass

Ron Hedland - Drums

(William) Don or 'D.T.' Thompson. Saxophonist, composer, arranger, b Drumheller, Alberta, 19 Sep 1932, d Vancouver 21 Mar 2004. He played saxophone and clarinet at 12 and began promoting his own jazz concerts, 'Jammin' the Blues,' in Edmonton at 17. He moved to Toronto in 1952, then toured 1954-8 in Canada and the US with Anne Marie Moss. Save for a period 1965-6 with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra in the US, Thompson was a mainstay of the Toronto jazz scene through the 1960s. During that time he led singer Tommy Ambrose in a big band ensemble, appeared regularly at Toronto jazz clubs with small groups and a big band and did studio and television work. Thompson appeared regularly at the First Floor Club  (1959-65), and was seen in the NFB's Toronto Jazz (1962) with a quintet. He also performed on many CBC TV pop music shows (eg, Club Six and Music Hop) and played in several Toronto studio orchestras.

In 1961 Thompson recorded as a member of the Pat Riccio big band in Ottawa and in 1963 with pianist Wray Downes and trombonist Rob McConnell. He also released a record as part of a quintet that included trumpeter Fred Stone.

From 1971 -. 1981 he was Anne Murray’s Musical Director, touring and recording with her as leader of her band, ‘Richard’. He returned to his jazz roots in 1981, and was frequently featured at clubs and recording studios in the Toronto area. By then, he had moved from his early bebop-based style to a simpler, full-toned, melodic approach in the manner of a Stanley Turrentine. His bonhomie as a performer brought him annual Christmas/New Year's engagements during the 1980s at George's Spaghetti House.

Brian Murphy had the honor and pleasure of numerous performances with Mr. Thompson during the 1980s in Toronto including the aforementioned Georges Spaghetti House as well as concerts at Nathan Phillips Square, with Clarence "Big" Miller at the Chik'n Deli and a CBC Radio Broadcast  with host Peter Gzowski on New Years Day in 1986.

Thompson wrote and recorded several jazz themes; his pop-song arrangements appear on albums by Murray, John Allan Cameron and Gordon Lightfoot.

Don D.T Thompson

performing Honky Tonk

©Brian Murphy 2024

D.T. Speaks