A gifted British baritone player, composer, flutist, and big-band leader, Gail Thompson's music is comparable to that of Quincy Jones or Abdullah Ibrahim. Along with her hard bop jazz sound, she stirs in a soulful touch of African spirit and rhythm. Near the end of the '80s, Thompson traveled by truck through Africa to reach Kenya. The experience clearly left its mark on her compositions.
Thompson has performed with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, the Charlie Watts Orchestra, and the National Youth Orchestra; she has worked for Mick Jagger's music company as director, and she was the founder of an England group known as the Jazz Warriors big band. She also founded a center for musicians called Musicworks and gives musical workshops all over the world.
In 1996, Thompson released her debut album, Jazz Africa, under the ENJA Records label. Impressive tracks like "Long Time in Togo," "Kamara River," and "Stressless" are accomplished with help from artists Claude Deppa, Tom Harris, Harry Beckett, Lucky Ranku, and others.