June 2005

Ed Thigpen Scantet
June 26, 2005Star StageToronto
Report by Joyce Corbett with Photos by Roger Humbert
Sunday afternoon and I must head to Nathan Phillips Square to hear Ed Thigpen and his Scantet. This master drummer, known for his quiet swinging style and his mastery of the brushes, has had a distinguished career playing with the likes of Bud Powell, Mal Waldron, Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, Clark Terry, Herbie Hancock… you get the picture. Probably most widely known in Canada for his years as part of the Oscar Peterson Trio with bassist Ray Brown, he was also co-founder of The Advanced School of Contemporary Music in Toronto with Oscar Peterson and clarinetist-composer Phil Nimmons (the school ran from 1959 to 1963).
So, off I rush for the 1 p.m. show, only to find that Ed’s flight from Montreal has been cancelled and nobody is quite sure exactly when he will arrive. To occupy our ears in the meantime, Jim Galloway has managed to assemble a band of some of Toronto’s finest — himself on soprano sax, John Mc Leod on trumpet, Neil Swainson on bass, Reg Schwager on guitar, and ever so appropriately, Don Vickery on drums. Don Vickery was a student of Ed Thigpen’s and now teaches drums at Humber College. He is also playing with his own trio at the Bay Jazz Café during the festival.
Don Vickery
Among the tunes they play are “I Found You Just In Time” (ironically), and Sonny Rollins' “St. Thomas” (they think it’s safe since Sonny did not play it on Friday night, says Jim). A special moment comes when Don puts his sticks down and beats out a solo with his hands.

2:45 — Ed and the band arrive. 3:00 — they are on stage.

Just as the trumpet players came out to hear Arturo Sandoval on Saturday night, there is a large contingent of drummers in the crowd, including Norman Marshall Villeneuve, Archie Alleyne, Daniel Barnes and of course, Don Vickery.

Ed and his Scantet (Jesper Bodilsen on bass, Tomas Franck tenor saxophone, Kasper Villaume piano and Jens Winther on trumpet) start up with “Shake it Out”. Tight, sexy, that satisfying chick-a-boom. “Wanna Be”, the next Thigpen original is followed by Horace Silver’s “Room 608” and other bop classics and ballads. “Fast Train” finishes the set with drums rolling and chugging. An encore is demanded and granted with “Denise”, a piece that Ed Thigpen wrote to commemorate the birth of his daughter. A cooperative baby starts to cry somewhere at the back of the tent partway through the piece. Not too harshly, just one of those wails that oscillate from low to mid-volume. It’s perfect.

Ed Thigpen
We welcome your comments and feedback
Joyce Corbett
• • • • • •
Roger Humbert
• •

| Home | Archives | CD Reviews | Photo Galleries | Concert Listings | Contact |

Please contact us to secure permission for use of any material found on this website.
© The Live Music Report – 2005