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 a trombonist and composer based in Montreal. His songs on texts by others for singer and dance artist, Susanna Hood, have been played in many contexts, some involving her choreography. His work as a soloist, with Monicker (with Arthur Bull and Roger Turner), and his recent disc Pal o’Alto (duos with Yves Charuest, Jean Derome, Karen Ng, and John Oswald) show Scott’s ongoing commitment to open improvisation. 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,

“Scott Thomson used the particularities of the [St-Christophe-d’Arthabaska] church venue to his advantage, offering a spellbinding solo performance that seamlessly touched on jazz, AACM-inspired avant-garde sonics, and an array of sophisticated extended techniques that made it one of FIMAV’s finest solo sets in recent years.”

–Alex Pelchat, Musicworks, Summer 2021

There is something glorious about Pal o’Alto. What I can’t work out is what it is.”

–Nick Roseblade, Vital Weekly #1279

“There’s something dramatic here, moods developing and changing along with the materials, a moving meditation in a terrain full of surprises, the shifting interior monologue of a musical flâneur.”

–Stuart Broomer, review of Murray: Trombone Solos in WholeNote Magazine

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

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.

“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

“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