|D.T. (Don Thompson)
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|Fred Webster - Vancouver, B.C.
May 13, 04|
|I first met D.T. in Toronto in 1955 or '56 - Don was one of the most generous
men you could ever hope to meet in any lifetime - generous of spirit. Aside
from being a terrific musician in the true sense of the natural Jazz player,
it seemed that his hobby was trying to make you feel good; D.T. had a great
sense of humour and seldom talked about depressing things - he loved to make
people laugh and feel good about life. His style of playing and showmanship
was of the classic Jazz giants who created the artform - D.T. was a bonafide
branch of the Great Tree of Jazz - he would be perfectly at home on the same
stage with any of the big-time players and orchestras. D.T. had that great gift
of saying a whole lot musically without snowing you under with a million notes.
D.T. played in the Lionel Hampton band and would have fit in perfectly with any
of the great bands of the past. D.T. loved to sit in on drums at informal sessions, and while he had only a minimum of drum technique, he could swing so
naturally that he often sounded better than the guys who had chops to kill - in
other words, he could swing you into good health. As a front man on stage, you
couldn't come away from one of his gigs without knowing you had a hell of a good time and heard some great saxophone playing. Along with all of this, D.T.
was an absolutely honest guy, who wouldn't have any idea about how to play the
con-artist or spend a minute bullshitting anyone. There is a whole boat-load of
us that miss him a lot, but feel honoured to have known him as a true friend.