A Touch of Frost saxophonist jazz-rock pioneer Barbara Thompson has died aged 77

Pioneering jazz-rock saxophonist, bandleader and composer Barbara Thompson MBE died yesterday morning. The saxophonist's daughter Ana Gracey confirmed the passing writing on Facebook. “My mum had the most extraordinary spirit - she never gave up, …

Published: 10 Jul 2022. Updated: 30 days.

Pioneering jazz-rock saxophonist, bandleader and composer Barbara Thompson MBE died yesterday morning. The saxophonist's daughter Ana Gracey confirmed the passing writing on Facebook.

“My mum had the most extraordinary spirit - she never gave up, however, her body finally let her down after a valiant battle with Parkinson’s over the course of 25 years alongside complications with her heart towards the end. We dearly hope that she and our father have found each other once again.”

Just this week, the acclaimed saxophonist whose instrumental work adorns such beloved long-running high rating TV series in the unforgettable main theme of the David Jason starring A Touch of Frost and groundbreaking bands including her own Paraphernalia and tenure in the internationally acclaimed United Jazz + Rock Ensemble, was only days before her passing awarded a special APPJG (All-Party Parliamentary Jazz Group) award at the 2022 Parliamentary Jazz Awards that her daughter collected on her behalf.

Barbara Thompson photo: Martyn Goddard

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Katalyst, Katalyst, Jazz is Dead ****

Around for some eight years Los Angeles collective Katalyst's members include pianists Brandon Cordoba and Brian Hargrove - brother of the much missed trumpet icon Roy Hargrove. Then there are saxophonists David Otis and Corbin James, trombonist …

Published: 9 Jul 2022. Updated: 31 days.

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Around for some eight years Los Angeles collective Katalyst's members include pianists Brandon Cordoba and Brian Hargrove - brother of the much missed trumpet icon Roy Hargrove. Then there are saxophonists David Otis and Corbin James, trombonist Jonah Levine, trumpeter Emile Martinez, percussionist Ahmad Dubose, drummer Greg Paul and bassist Marlon Spears in the personnel.

Influenced by James Poyser and Roy Hargrove Katalyst specialise in immersive vamps and win us over pretty much from the first track. 'Summer Solstice' later on is the one we warm to most. There is lots of gritty positivity to the sound that harks back as if to the 1970s and 80s. While freedom in the groove whether layered up as in the ensemble expression or breaking free to allow characterful escape especially in the keyboard lines it matters not. The sound works on every significant level we can think of. And certainly its looseness is unfakable. And there seems profound chemistry in this inspired coming together.

Out on 15 July

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