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Ed Thigpen

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Biography

A tasteful and subtle drummer who is a master with brushes, Ed Thigpen is still most famous for his longtime membership with the Oscar Peterson Trio. The son of Ben Thigpen (who played drums with Andy Kirk's Orchestra throughout the 1930s), Ed gained early experience playing with Cootie Williams from 1951-1952. After a period in the Army, he worked with Dinah Washington (1954), Lennie Tristano, Johnny Hodges, Bud Powell, and Billy Taylor's Trio (1956-1959). Thigpen replaced guitarist Herb Ellis with Peterson's group in 1959, staying with the masterful pianist through 1965 and appearing on dozens of records. His quiet yet swinging style perfectly supported Peterson and bassist Ray Brown. After leaving Peterson, Thigpen spent two periods touring the world with Ella Fitzgerald during 1966-1972. He settled in Copenhagen in 1972, worked as a teacher, wrote several instructional books, and continued playing with the who's who of jazz as a freelancer. As an occasional leader, Ed Thigpen has recorded dates for Verve (an obscurity from 1966), GNP Crescendo, Reckless, Timeless, and Justin Time.

Top Songs

Birth Name:

Edward Leonard Thigpen

Born:

28 December 1930 in Chicago, IL

Genre
Years Active:

'50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Contemporaries