Biographical Note


The following is a 150-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 a trombonist and composer based in Montreal. His songs on others’ texts for singer and dance artist, Susanna Hood, have been played in many contexts, some involving her choreography. Monicker (with Arthur Bull and Roger Turner) shows Scott’s ongoing commitment to open improvisation, as does his ‘Trombone Solos at Odd Hours’ project, an odd one indeed but one that has yielded some good music. He co-founded and co-directed the Association of Improvising Musicians Toronto 2004-09, 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 work with Roscoe Mitchell. Scott founded Somewhere There, a Toronto venue that hosted 850 concerts during his tenure, 2007-10. He has made site-specific works for mobile musicians and audiences in unconventional contexts including, notably, the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Scott programs the Guelph Jazz Festival with Karen Ng.

Selected Media Quotations:

“[Spine is] a high-water mark in Canadian free improvisation.”

–Stuart Broomer, review of Monicker’s Spine in WholeNote Magazine

“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!)