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Ed Thigpen
Birth name Edmund Leonard Thigpen
Born December 28, 1930(1930-12-28)
Origin Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died January 13, 2010 (aged 79)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Genres Jazz
Occupations Drummer
Instruments drums
Associated acts Cootie Williams, Oscar Peterson, Billy Taylor, Ella Fitzgerald, many others

Edmund Leonard (Ed) Thigpen (December 28, 1930[1] – January 13, 2010[2]) was an American jazz drummer, perhaps best-known for his work with the Oscar Peterson trio from 1959 to 1965. Thigpen also performed with the Billy Taylor trio from 1956 to 1959.



Born in Chicago, Illinois Ed Thigpen was raised in Los Angeles, California and attended Thomas Jefferson High School, which was also attended by Art Farmer, Dexter Gordon and Chico Hamilton. His father, Ben, was a drummer who played with Andy Kirk for sixteen years during the 1930s and 1940s. Thigpen first worked professionally in New York City with the Cootie Williams orchestra from 1951 to 1952 at the Savoy Ballroom. After working with Dinah Washington, Gil Melle, Oscar Pettiford, Eddie Vinson, Paul Quinichette, Ernie Wilkins, Charlie Rouse, Lennie Tristano, Jutta Hipp, Johnny Hodges, Dorothy Ashby, Bud Powell, and Billy Taylor, he replaced guitarist Herb Ellis in the Oscar Peterson Trio in 1959 in Toronto, Canada.

In 1961 he recorded with the Teddy EdwardsHoward McGhee Quintet in Los Angeles with Phineas Newborn, Jr. and Ray Brown.

After leaving Peterson he recorded one album as a leader for Verve, Out of the Storm of 1966. He then toured with Ella Fitzgerald from 1967 to 1972, after which he settled in Copenhagen, Denmark. In Denmark Thigpen has worked with a variety of artists, including Alice Babs, Kenny Drew, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Ernie Wilkins, Svend Asmussen, Clark Terry, Milt Jackson, Monty Alexander and Thad Jones.

He was Inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame.

Ed Thigpen passed away peacefully after a brief period in Hvidovre Hospital (Copenhagen, Denmark) on January 13th, 2010.



As leader

  • 1961: Trio: Live from Chicago (Verve Records)
  • 1966: Out of the Storm (Polygram Records)
  • 1974: Action-Re-Action
  • 1990: Young Men and Olds (Timeless Records)
  • 1992: Mr. Taste (Justin Time Records)
Stunt Records
  • 1990: Easy Flight
  • 1998: It's Entertainment
  • 2002: Element of Swing
  • 2004: #1

As sideman

with the Dorothy Ashby Quartet:

  • The Jazz Harpist (1956; Regent)

with Gil Melle:

with Billy Taylor:

with Paul Quinichette and Charlie Rouse:

with Eddie Vinson:

with Oscar Pettiford:

with Oscar Peterson:

  • The Oscar Peterson Trio in Tokyo 1964 (1964; Pablo)

with Teddy Charles:

with Tony Ortega:

  • Jazz for Young Moderns (1958, 1959; Bethlehem)

with Frank Minion:

  • The Soft Land of Make Believe (1959; Bethlehem)

with Teddy EdwardsHoward McGhee Quintet

  • Howard McGhee/Teddy Edwards – Together Again! (Contemporary M 3588, S 7588; Fantasy OJC 424, OJCCD 424-2)

with Ella Fitzgerald:

with Svend Asmussen:

  • As Time Goes By (1978; Sonet Records)

with Jack van Poll:

  • Cat's Groove (1988; September Records)

with Oliver Jones:

with John Lindberg, Albert Mangelsdorff & Eric Watson:

with Eric Watson and Mark Dresser:

  • Silent Hearts (2001; Sunnyside Records)

with Ernie Wilkins on the Everest label:

  • Everest Years (CD; 1959, 1960; 2005; VI Music)


External links


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