Barbara Gracey Thompson was born on July 27, 1944 in Oxford, United Kingdom. She studied clarinet, flute, piano and classical composition at the Royal College of Music, but it was the music of Duke Ellington and John Coltrane that caused her to shift her interests to jazz and saxophone.
Around 1970, Thompson she joined Neil Ardley’s New Jazz Orchestra and appeared on albums by Colosseum. Starting in 1975, she was a founding member of three bands, the first being the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble, with bandleaders Wolfgang Dauner, Volker Kriegel, Albert Mangelsdorff, Eberhard Weber, Ian Carr, Charlie Mariano, Ack van Rooyen and Jon Hiseman. The second was Barbara Thompson’s Jubiaba, a 9 piece Latin/rock band with Peter Lemer, Roy Babbington, Henry Lowther, Ian Hamer, Derek Wadsworth, Trevor Tomkins, Bill Le Sage and Glyn Thomas. The third, Barbara Thompson’s Paraphernalia, is her current working band with pianist Peter Lemer, vocalist Billy Thompson, bassist Dave Ball and Jon Hiseman on drums.
She was awarded the MBE in 1996 for services to music but due to her being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1997, she retired as an active saxophonist in 2001 with a farewell tour. Barbara went on to work exclusively as a composer exclusively, but returned to the stage in 2003 replacing the unwell Dick Heckstall-Smith during Colosseum’s “Tomorrow’s Blues” tour becoming a permanent member, and in 2005 she performed live with Paraphernalia in their “Never Say Goodbye” tour.
Thompson has worked with Andrew Lloyd Webber on musicals such as Cats, Starlight Express and Requiem. She has written several classical compositions, music for film and television, a musical of her own and has composed songs for her big band Moving Parts.
Roy Babbington was born July 8, 1940 in Kempston, Bedfordshire, England. He started his musical career in 1958, playing double bass in local jazz bands and at the age of 17 he took up the post of double bass, doubling on electric guitar with The Leslie Thorp Orchestra at the Aberdeen Beach Ballroom. While there he honed his sight reading skills and after a move to London in 1969, he joined the band Delivery, one of the side roots of the Canterbury scene with Phil Miller, Pip Pyle and Lol Coxhill.
Babbington began to work as a session musician with jazz/fusion musicians like Michael Gibbs and The Keith Tippett Group with Elton Dean. He was part of the recording session on their album Dedicated To You But You Weren’t Listening in 1970, Tippett’s big band project Centipede in ‘71 and Dean’s album Just Us. Post Delivery in 1971 after Carol Grimes’ album Fools Meeting, he joined the group Nucleus.
He would go on to perform and record with Alexis Korner, Harvey Andrews, Mike d’Abo, Chris Spedding and as a part time member of the bands Schunge, Solid Gold Cadillac, Ovary Lodge and Soft Machine. Remaining active on the UK jazz scene he played with Barbara Thompson’s Paraphernalia, Intercontinental Express, various bands led by pianist Stan Tracey and sat in on the album session Welcome to the Cruise by Judie Tzuke.
By the 1980s and 90s, Roy returned to his roots playing the double bass and pure jazz, so much, he became affectionately known by the musical community as the Jazz Handbrake. He also worked with Elvis Costello, Carol Grimes, Mose Allison and the BBC Big Band. Since 2008, bassist Roy Babbington, who has played big band and fusion jazz, continues to perform with Soft Machine Legacy, replacing Hugh Hopper as their electric bassist in 2009.
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Jorge Dalto was born on July 7, 1948 in Roque Pérez, Argentina. During the mid-80s Jorge led the InterAmerican Band featuring his wife, Adela, on vocals. He continued to build his internationally-flavored sound, and collaborations with his wife blended their Latin and Brazilian backgrounds. He served as arranger for the Percussion Jazz Ensemble with Tito Puente, Carlos “Patato” Valdes and Alfredo De La Fe.
As a leader he recorded six albums since his debut recording Chevere in 1976 and another dozen as a sideman performing and recording with Tito Puente, Grover Washington, Fuse One, Spyro Gyra, George Benson, Dizzy Gillespie and Machito, Grant Green, Heaven and Earth, Willie Colón, Gato Barbieri, Bernard Purdie, Ronnie Foster, Tom Malone, Jerry Dodgion, Ernie Royal, Victor Paz, Rubén Blades, David Sanborn, Eric Gale, Steve Gadd, Bob Mintzer, Alan Rubin, Dave Valentin, Jay Beckenstein, Carlos Valdes, Buddy Williams, Stanley Banks, Phil Upchurch, Hubert Laws, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Anthony Jackson, Harvey Mason and Frank Malabé.
Pop, jazz and Afro-Cuban pianist and former George Benson musical director Jorge Dalto passed away of cancer at the age of 39 on October 27, 1987.
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Leon “Ndugu” Chancler was born on July 1, 1952 in Shreveport, Louisiana. He began playing drums when he was thirteen years old and while in high school he played with Willie Bobo and the Harold Johnson Sextet.
Graduating from California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in music education he had already performed with the Gerald Wilson Big Band, Herbie Hancock, and recorded with Miles Davis, Fre ddie Hubbard, and Bobby Hutcherson, among many others.
Chancler often works as a studio percussionist, his playing ranging from jazz to blues to pop, including Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, as well as Hampton Hawes, Harold Land, Azar Lawrence, Julian Priester, Lalo Schifrin, Weather Report, Stanley Clarke, Jean-Luc Ponty, Donna Summer, George Duke, Patrice Rushen, Carlos Santana, Hubert Laws, The Crusaders, Frank Sinatra, Weather Report, Lionel Richie, George Benson, The Temptations, Tina Turner, Kenny Rogers, Thelonious Monk, John Lee Hooker, Eddie Harris, and numerous others.
As an educator in 2006 he became an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Southern California and teaches at the Stanford Jazz Workshop in California for three weeks every summer. He is a member of Percussive Arts Society, has been named as one of the top 25 Drummers in the world, is a composer and the sole proprietor of his own publishing company. Drummer, percussionist, studio musician, composer and producer Ndugu Chancler continues to perform, record and tour.
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Stanley Clarke was born on June 30, 1951 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was introduced to the bass as a schoolboy when he arrived late on the day instruments were distributed to students and acoustic bass was one of the few remaining selections. Graduating from Roxborough High School he attended the Philadelphia Musical Academy from which he graduated in 1971.
Moving to New York City he found work with Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Dave Brubeck, Dexter Gordon, Gato Barbieri, Joe Henderson, Chick Corea, Pharoah Sanders, Gil Evans and Stan Getz.
During the 1970s Clarke turned to jazz fusion joining Chick Corea and Return to Forever and started his solo career released a number of albums under his own name, his best known solo albums being School Days, Stanley Clarke and Journey to Love.
Stanley began scoring for TV and film for shows like A Man Called Hawk, Pee-wee’s Playhouse, Soul Food. Boyz n the Hood, Tina Turner What’s Love Got to Do With It, Passenger 57, Higher Learning, Poetic Justice, Panther, The Five Heartbeats, Book of Love, Little Big League, and Romeo Must Die and The Transporter.
Clarke formed Animal Logic with rock drummer Stewart Copeland of The Police, and singer-songwriter Deborah Holland. He went on to collaborate with Jeff Beck, Ron Wood’s New Barbarians, Clarke/Duke Project with George Duke, Miroslav Vitouš, a group with Larry Carlton, Billy Cobham, Najee & Deron Johnson, The Rite of Strings with Jean-Luc Ponty and Al Di Meola and Vertu’ with Lenny White and Richie Kotzen.
He has been honored with Bass Player magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award, has won a Grammy Award, was the first Rolling Stone magazine “Jazzman of the Year”, won “Best Bassist” from Playboy magazine for 10 straight years, and received the Key to the city of Philadelphia, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was featured in Los Angeles magazine as one of the 50 most influential people. Acoustic and electric bassist Stanley Clarke continues to compose for TV and film while performing, recording and touring with his band,
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