Thompson playing with Genesis in 2007
|Birth name||Chester Cortez Thompson|
|Born||December 11, 1948|
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Chester Cortez Thompson (born December 11, 1948) is an American drummer, percussionist, session musician, producer, and teacher. He performed with Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention from 1973 to 1975, and with the progressive rock band Genesis from 1977 to 1992, and again in 2007.He is a current member of his jazz group, the Chester Thompson Trio, formed in 2011.
Frank Vincent Zappa was an American musician, composer, activist and filmmaker. His work is characterized by nonconformity, free-form improvisation, sound experiments, musical virtuosity, and satire of American culture. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa composed rock, pop, jazz, jazz fusion, orchestral and musique concrète works, and produced almost all of the 60-plus albums that he released with his band the Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist. Zappa also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. He is considered one of the most innovative and stylistically diverse rock musicians of his era.
The Mothers of Invention were an American rock band from California. Formed in 1964, their work is marked by the use of sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows.
Genesis were an English rock band formed at Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey, in 1967. The most successful and longest-lasting line-up consisted of keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and drummer/singer Phil Collins. Significant former members were original lead singer Peter Gabriel and guitarist Steve Hackett. The band moved from folk music to progressive rock in the 1970s, before moving towards pop at the end of the decade. They have sold 21.5 million copies of their albums in the United States, with worldwide sales of between 100 million and 150 million.
Thompson was born on December 11, 1948, in Baltimore, Maryland. He has an older brother, who played in the drum corps. Unfortunately, he grew up without a father.At elementary school, he learned to play the flute and read music. At eleven, Thompson took up the drums, receiving lessons from James Harrison, a professional jazz drummer from whom he learned his rudiments. Thompson practiced by playing along with albums by jazz musicians Miles Davis, Max Roach and Art Blakey. From there, he moved on to studying records by drummer Elvin Jones, whom Thompson cites as a major musical influence along with Tony Williams. While attending high school, he studied privately with drummer and percussionist Tony Ames of the National Symphony Orchestra for one semester. Thompson's practice focused on mastering drumming rudiments using a book published by the National Association of Rudimental Drummers. He started to play his first live gigs two years later in local venues. Still underage, Thompson went as far as to draw a mustache on his upper lip using an eyebrow pencil "because the club owners were worried about me playing there". He played as many as three jam sessions a week.
Miles Dewey Davis III was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. He is among the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz and 20th century music. Davis adopted a variety of musical directions in a five-decade career that kept him at the forefront of many major stylistic developments in jazz.
Maxwell Lemuel Roach was an American jazz drummer and composer. A pioneer of bebop, he worked in many other styles of music, and is generally considered alongside the most important drummers in history. He worked with many famous jazz musicians, including Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Abbey Lincoln, Dinah Washington, Charles Mingus, Billy Eckstine, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, Eric Dolphy, and Booker Little. He was inducted into the DownBeat Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1992.
Arthur "Art" Blakey was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. He was briefly known as Abdullah Ibn Buhaina after he became a Muslim in the late 1940s.
Among his first major jobs was a short tour, mainly across Canada, with jazz singer Ben E. King.In 1970, he played with organist Jack McDuff, followed by gigs with other local groups before returning to Baltimore in 1971 to study at the Community College of Baltimore County. Thompson studied there for two years, including the flute, and coached a basketball team at the Rec Center. He played as part of the house band in a club that supported visiting soul artists.
Benjamin Earl King was an American soul and R&B singer and record producer. He was perhaps best known as the singer and co-composer of "Stand by Me"—a US Top 10 hit, both in 1961 and later in 1986, a number one hit in the UK in 1987, and no. 25 on the RIAA's list of Songs of the Century—and as one of the principal lead singers of the R&B vocal group the Drifters notably singing the lead vocals of one of their biggest global hit singles "Save the Last Dance for Me".
Eugene McDuff, known professionally as "Brother" Jack McDuff or "Captain" Jack McDuff, was an American jazz organist and organ trio bandleader who was most prominent during the hard bop and soul jazz era of the 1960s, often performing with an organ trio. He is also credited with giving guitarist George Benson his first break.
The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) is an accredited community college located in Baltimore County, Maryland in the United States with three main campuses and three extension centers.
Thompson built a reputation as a session drummer. One of his first bands was Doc "Soul Stirrer" Young and The We Four Trio. Since the early 1970s, Thompson has played with the jazz rock band Air Pocket, a band with the Fowler Brothers at its core.
Air Pocket was a jazz fusion band founded by the Fowler brothers.
From 1973 to 1975, Thompson toured and recorded with Frank Zappa as a member of his band, The Mothers of Invention.He was a friend of their tour manager, Marty Perellis, also of Baltimore, and landed an audition in Los Angeles after learning of Zappa's wish to use two drummers in his group. Thompson recalled the audition involved him jamming with the band for a solid hour without a break. "We just drifted in and out of so many different kinds of feels and grooves," he remembers. After the jam, Zappa told Thompson that he got the gig. His time in Zappa's band was challenging because of the leader's "incredibly difficult music" which involved as much as 40 hours of weekly practice for four to six weeks before a tour. Thompson played on several Zappa albums, including Roxy & Elsewhere (1974), One Size Fits All (1975), Studio Tan (1978), and You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 2 (1988).
Roxy & Elsewhere is a double live album by Frank Zappa and The Mothers, released in September 1974. Most of the songs were recorded on December 8, 9 and 10, 1973 at The Roxy Theatre in Hollywood, California.
One Size Fits All is a rock album by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, released in June 1975. It is the tenth and last studio album of the band. A special four-channel quadraphonic version of the album was advertised but not released.
Studio Tan is the 24th album by American musician Frank Zappa, first released in September 1978 on his own DiscReet Records label. It reached #147 on the Billboard 200 albums chart in the United States.
In 1975, after a Zappa tour was cancelled, Thompson joined the jazz rock band Weather Report following the departure of drummer Leon "Ndugu" Chancler and the completion of Tale Spinnin' (1975).Their bassist, Alphonso Johnson, invited him to jam with them and it was a success. Thompson recalled his time in the band as a "major knock out" because he was a big fan of the group. Thompson stayed with the band for Black Market , after which he left.
Weather Report was an American jazz fusion band of the 1970s and early 1980s. The band was initially co-led by the Austrian-born keyboard player Joe Zawinul, the American saxophonist Wayne Shorter and Czech bassist Miroslav Vitouš. Other prominent members at various points in the band's lifespan included bassists Alphonso Johnson, Jaco Pastorius and Victor Bailey; and drummers/percussionists Peter Erskine, Alex Acuña, Airto Moreira, and Chester Thompson. Throughout most of its existence, the band was a quintet of keyboards, saxophone, bass, drums and percussion.
Tale Spinnin' is the fifth studio album by Weather Report, recorded and released in 1975, featuring the addition of Leon "Ndugu" Chancler on the drums. Ndugu was recruited after Josef Zawinul heard him play with Carlos Santana. Weather Report was recording next door to Ndugu in the studio, and Chancler was asked to join them for a recording session. That session ended up lasting a week and produced Tale Spinnin'. After the record, Ndugu was asked to join the band as a permanent member, but declined in favor of continuing to work with Carlos Santana.
Alphonso Johnson is an American jazz bassist active since the early 1970s. Johnson was a member of the influential jazz fusion group Weather Report from 1973 to 1975, and has performed and recorded with numerous high-profile rock and jazz acts including Santana, Phil Collins, Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, and Chet Baker.
After leaving Weather Report, Thompson played recording sessions in Los Angeles and well as part of the San Francisco Broadway theatre production of The Wiz .He was recommended for the gig by his friend Roy McCurdy, and it was there where he met his future wife who had parts in the musical. He also toured as a member of the live band for The Pointer Sisters, and rehearsed with Santana after they expressed an interest in having Thompson join the band.
Just two weeks into Santana rehearsals, Thompson was invited by Genesis drummer and singer Phil Collins to join the band as their touring drummer after their current drummer, Bill Bruford, wished to move on.Collins wished to pick an American drummer, and heard Thompson's playing on Zappa's live album Roxy & Elsewhere which featured Thompson playing in tandem with drummer Ralph Humphrey. Thompson had heard of Genesis's music from bassist Alphonso Johnson, and agreed to join the band for rehearsals in November 1976 for their upcoming tour supporting Wind & Wuthering (1976). "The first day of rehearsal, we just started jamming as everybody was setting up gear, we were just going for it". Thompson was shown the drum part to "Afterglow" and at first had difficulty in playing its straightforward beat.
From 1976–2007, Thompson played with Genesis as their touring drummer.Thompson is featured on the live albums Seconds Out (1977), Three Sides Live (1982), The Way We Walk, Volume One: The Shorts (1992), The Way We Walk, Volume Two: The Longs (1993), and Live over Europe 2007 (2007).
After the 1992 tour, Thompson stepped down as their touring drummer in order to spend more time with his family.He talked with Genesis bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford about the possibility of playing the drums on their final studio album, Calling All Stations (1997). However, since Collins had left the band, Thompson wanted to become a full-time member of the band, and not just a side man. However, Genesis continued without Thompson for the album and tour. Thompson played an impromptu jam at Collins's wedding in 1999, which made him realize how much he had missed his Genesis band mates.
Thompson joined Phil Collins as drummer for Collins's solo concert tours, drumming on the 1982/83 Hello, I Must Be Going! tour, 1985 No Jacket Required tour, 1990 ...But Seriously tour, The Tarzan Premiere tour of 1999 and The Final Farewell tour of 2004/05. He also appears on Collins' Serious Hits... Live! (1990) live album and DVD.
In 1988, Thompson was invited to play the drums for former boss Frank Zappa's final concert tour before his death. Thompson declined the offer. By this time, Thompson had become a devout Christian, and Zappa's anti-religious sentiments and lyrics conflicted with his own religious beliefs.
In 1989, Thompson worked as the drummer for Bee Gees for their One for All tour, in support for their One album. He was later replaced by Michael Murphy in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Thompson continued to work with other members of Genesis on their solo projects. Thompson also plays on the Steve Hackett albums, Please Don't Touch (1978) and Watcher of the Skies: Genesis Revisited (1996). Later on, he played on Tony Banks' solo album A Curious Feeling (1979). He also appears on Steve Hackett's live album The Tokyo Tapes released in 1998 which also features John Wetton, Ian McDonald and Julian Colbeck.
He was also a founding member of the band Fire Merchants with Brand X guitarist John Goodsall and bassist Doug Lunn and appeared on their first eponymous recording in 1989. Thompson played drums with Santana in 1984 and is credited in the Beyond Appearances album along with Chester D. Thompson on keyboards.
In 1992, Thompson and his family relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, after liking the area when they visited to attend noted drummer Larrie London's funeral.He has since played on sessions for various artists in the area, mainly in jazz, pop, and Christian music.
In 1995, former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett invited Thompson to play on his Genesis project album Genesis Revisited . Thompson was unsure of playing on all of the tracks as initially discussed, and said "we both thought it would be too weird to do the whole album with both of us being sort of ex-Genesis people".Instead, Hackett brought on additional musicians and Thompson plays on just three tracks.
In the late 1990s, Thompson began touring with jazz guitarist Denny Jiosa.In 1999, he released his first solo album, A Joyful Noise. In 2001, Thompson toured Korea with singer and worship leader Ron Kenoly. In January 2002, Thompson performed at the debut charity gig by Collins's Little Dreams Foundation.
Thompson has taught drums at Belmont University in Nashville since 1998,and has also taken classes at the university in composition and arranging. In 2008, he was "two classes away" from earning a degree. He is an adjunct instructor at its school of music.
In 2008, Thompson was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 32nd Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC).
In 2011, Thompson formed his jazz group, the Chester Thompson Trio, with pianist Joe Davidian and bassist Mike Rinne. They had initially played together as part of the rhythm section of the Nashville Trombone Festival which was followed by a weekly residency at the Commodore Lounge for over a year. They have released two albums: Approved (2013) and Simpler Times (2015).
Thompson has endorsed Ludwig Drums (1970-March, 1977), Pearl Drums (April, 1977 - July, 1987), Sonor Drums (1990–1999) and Paiste cymbals (1970–90); he has endorsed DW Drums since 2000 and Sabian cymbals since 1990. He uses Remo drumheads, Meinl Percussion, Gibraltar racks and has his own Regaltip Chester Thompson signature drumstick.
In 1980, Thompson became a Christian. He married his wife who he first met during his time playing in The Wiz in 1976.They have one son.
With Frank Zappa/Beefheart/Mothers of Invention
With Air Pocket
With Alphonso Johnson
With Weather Report
With Flora Purim
With Steve Hackett
With Tony Banks
With Linda Clifford
With Freddie Hubbard
With Leroy Hutson
With David Pritchard
With Brenda Holloway
With Ahmad Jamal
With Hidehiko Matsumoto
With High Inergy
With Bingo Miki & His Inner Galaxy Orchestra of America
With Johnny Lytle/Albert Dailey/Chester Thompson
With Stefano Sabatini
With Michel Colombier
With Cosmos & Their L.A. Friends
With Fire Merchants
With Phil Collins
With Chris Catena
Stephen Richard Hackett is an English musician, songwriter, singer, and producer who gained prominence as the guitarist of the progressive rock band Genesis from 1971 to 1977. Hackett contributed to six Genesis studio albums, three live albums, seven singles and one EP before he left to pursue a solo career. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010.
Nursery Cryme is the third studio album from the English rock band Genesis, released in November 1971 on Charisma Records. It is their first to feature drummer / vocalist Phil Collins and guitarist Steve Hackett. The album received a mixed response from critics and was not initially a commercial success; it did not enter the UK chart until 1974, when it reached its peak at No. 39. However, the album was successful in Continental Europe, particularly Italy. At approximately 39 minutes long, it is the shortest studio album by the band to date.
Seconds Out is the second live album from the English rock band Genesis, released as a double album in October 1977 on Charisma Records. It is formed of recordings from their four dates at the Palais des Sports in Paris in June 1977 on their Wind & Wuthering Tour. "The Cinema Show" was recorded in 1976 at the Pavillon de Paris during their A Trick of the Tail Tour.
Brand X are a jazz fusion band formed in London in 1975. They were active until 1980, followed by a reformation between 1992–1999. Noted members included John Goodsall (guitar), Percy Jones (bass), Robin Lumley (keyboards) and Phil Collins (drums). Goodsall and Jones were the sole constant members throughout the band's existence. In 2016, Goodsall, Jones and Kenwood Dennard reunited with new musicians Chris Clark on keyboards and Scott Weinberger on percussion.
A Trick of the Tail is the seventh studio album by English progressive rock band Genesis. It was released in February 1976 on Charisma Records and was the first album to feature drummer Phil Collins as lead vocalist following the departure of Peter Gabriel. It was a critical and commercial success in the UK and U.S., reaching No. 3 and No. 31 respectively.
Six of the Best was a reunion concert between the rock band Genesis, their original lead singer Peter Gabriel and former guitarist Steve Hackett. It took place on a wet Saturday, 2 October 1982, at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. Genesis were introduced onto the stage by Jonathan King and the support bands were John Martyn, The Blues Band and Talk Talk.
...And Then There Were Three... is the ninth studio album by the English rock band Genesis. It was released in March 1978 by Charisma Records and is their first recorded as a trio of singer/drummer Phil Collins, keyboardist Tony Banks, and bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford following the departure of guitarist Steve Hackett. The album marked a change in the band's sound, mixing elements of their progressive rock roots with shorter material, and Collins contributing to more of the group's songwriting.
Duke is the tenth studio album by English rock band Genesis, released in March 1980 on Charisma Records. The album followed a period of inactivity for the band in early 1979. Phil Collins moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in an effort to salvage his failing first marriage, while Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford recorded solo albums. Collins returned to the UK after his marriage ended and wrote a significant amount of material, some of which was used for Duke and some was later reworked for his first solo album, Face Value. Duke contained a mix of individually-written songs and tracks that evolved from jam sessions in mid-1979, while recording took place at the end of the year. The break in activity rejuvenated the band, and they found the album an easy one to work on.
Daryl Mark Stuermer is an American musician, songwriter, and producer best known for playing the guitar and bass for Genesis during live shows, and lead guitar for Phil Collins during most solo tours and albums. He has also released ten solo albums, and tours with his Daryl Stuermer Band.
Genesis Archive 1967–75 is a box set by the English progressive rock band Genesis, released in June 1998 on Virgin Records in the United Kingdom and by Atlantic Records in the United States. After the release of their studio album Calling All Stations in 1997, the band assembled recordings from their history for release which involved the participation of former members Peter Gabriel, Anthony Phillips, Steve Hackett, and Phil Collins. The set includes previously unreleased studio, live, and demo tracks, some of which include re-recorded vocal and guitar parts from Gabriel and Hackett, respectively.
Live – The Way We Walk, Volume One: The Shorts is the fourth live album by the English rock band Genesis, released in November 1992 on Virgin Records in the United Kingdom and by Atlantic Records in the United States. The album features a compilation of recordings from their 1986–1987 Invisible Touch Tour and their 1992 We Can't Dance Tour in support of their named studio albums, with focus on the group's hit singles. In addition to the core Genesis line-up of singer/drummer Phil Collins, keyboardist Tony Banks, and guitarist/bassist Mike Rutherford, the group perform with their longtime touring musicians, drummer Chester Thompson and guitarist/bassist Daryl Stuermer.
Flaming Youth were a British rock band, active in the late 1960s. They were not commercially successful and are now remembered primarily as Phil Collins’ first band that had a recording deal.
"Invisible Touch" is the title track and first single from the 1986 album of the same name by the English rock band Genesis. The song is a group composition which featured lyrics written by drummer and singer Phil Collins.
Please Don't Touch! is the second studio album by English guitarist and songwriter Steve Hackett. It was released in April 1978 on Charisma Records, and it is his first album released after leaving the progressive rock band Genesis in 1977. Hackett had released Voyage of the Acolyte (1975) during his time in Genesis. For his next solo release he recorded in the United States album and hired various guest artists, including singers Randy Crawford, Richie Havens, and Steve Walsh, drummers Phil Ehart and Chester Thompson, bassist Tom Fowler, with Van der Graaf Generator violinist Graham Smith.
"The Carpet Crawlers", also sometimes listed as "Carpet Crawl", "The Carpet Crawl" or "Carpet Crawlers", is a song originally from the 1974 Genesis concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. The song was re-recorded in 1999 with the name "The Carpet Crawlers 1999".
The Musical Box are a French-Canadian tribute band formed in Montreal, Quebec in 1993 who recreate performances by the English rock band Genesis during the 1970s. The current line-up is formed of singer and performer Denis Gagné, guitarist François Gagnon, bassist Sébastien Lamothe, keyboardist Ian Benhamou, and drummer Bob St-Laurent.
The Wind & Wuthering Tour was an English, North American, South American and European concert tour by the English rock band Genesis.
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