Biographical Note


The following is a 160-word biographical note to be copied and pasted as needed. If you require a note of a different length, then please contact me and I will furnish one to meet your specifications:

Scott Thomson is an improvising trombonist and composer based in Montreal. He works extensively with singer and dance artist, Susanna Hood, and writes songs for her based on published authors’ texts to be played in many contexts, from duo to octet and sometimes including her choreography. Monicker (with Arthur Bull and Roger Turner), for example, exemplifies Scott’s commitment to open improvisation. He co-founded the Association of Improvising Musicians Toronto (AIMToronto) in 2004 and served as a director until 2009, and co-directed the AIMToronto Orchestra, formed for a project with Anthony Braxton in 2007. In 2016, he convened the Montreal-Toronto Art Orchestra to play Roscoe Mitchell’s music. He founded Somewhere There, a Toronto creative music venue that hosted 850 concerts during his tenure, 2007-10. Scott has composed a series of site-specific works, ‘cartographic compositions’ for mobile musicians and audiences in unconventional performance contexts including, notably, the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Scott programs the Guelph Jazz Festival.

Selected Media Quotations:

“Scott Thomson’s trombone at moments practically lifted me out of my body.”

–Carl Wilson,

The Muted Note is a striking accomplishment—an almost naked work, in which unaccompanied trombone and voice are frequent. One does not hear these episodes as the work of individuals but as part of a complex ensemble of poet, composer, and interpreters. The Muted Note ultimately resonates like [P.K.] Page’s galvanized language itself.”

–Stuart Broomer, review of The Muted Note: Songs Based on Poems by P.K. Page in Musicworks

“What stands out most in these performances by appointment is Thomson’s sense of calm construction, every shift an organic evolution, akin to the solo work of Conrad Bauer.”

–Stuart Broomer, review of Heures indues: Trombone Solos in Point of Departure

“Thomson’s trombone blasts are nothing short of spectacular.”

–Tom Sekowski, Wholenote Magazine

“You made the trombone sound like an entire nightclub, like a crackhouse at 4am!”

–Rob Clutton in person after a show

The result [of Songs & Dances from The Muted Note] is remarkable, sacrificing some intimacy but gaining greater resilience and highlighting the strength of Thomson’s melodies, like the vibrant Picking Daffodils. […] Thomson has achieved a fine balance in the writing, creating arrangements that frame and expand P.K. Page’s luminous language without drowning it out, sometimes employing understated dissonance to suggest ambiguity.”

–Stuart Broomer, review of The Disguises recording in Wholenote Magazine.

“Somewhere There is […] a truly special place, a national treasure, […] the place where true art ferments.”

–Richard Marsella, Wholenote Magazine

“Somewhere There is just the kind of place where great music scenes are incubated.”

–Evan Parker, following his February 2009 AIMToronto Interface Series at Somewhere There

“Thomson keeps to small, tactile gestures but somehow contrives to give bebop momentum even to moments of drifting near-stasis. The calm surface of his playing is ruffled by countless small shivers of delight and contrariness, while the solo piece ‘Lead’ shows how much mileage he can get out of quivery pirouettes and split tones. He even throws in some curt bouncing-ball melodies right out of J.J. Johnson. This is first-rate music that hardly deserves the tag ‘abstract’; it contains more melodic invention than a score of mainstream jazz records.”

Nate Dorward, Plumb review, Paris Transatlantic Magazine

“Remarkably serious entertainment.”

Phillip Clark, Plumb review, The Wire

“…a folksy sort of virtuosity – amiable, agreeably unpretentious and without the patented sheen of the conservatory.”

Mark Miller, Plumb liner notes

“Scott Thomson, trombonist extraordinaire, plays with Roswell Rudd raucousness but his tone can get eerily whispery.”

–Glen Hall, Exclaim Magazine

“You blow into this end of the trombone and the sound that comes out the other end disrupts the cosmos.”

–Roswell Rudd, White Anglo-Saxon Pythagorean non-pareil (apropos the trombone in general, not ST in particular!)