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Ed Thigpen


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Edmund Leonard (Ed) Thigpen (born December 28, 1930 - died January 13, 2010) was an American jazz drummer from Chicago, Illinois, perhaps best-known for his work with the Oscar Peterson trio from 1959-1965. Thigpen also performed with the Billy Taylor trio from 1956-1959.

Ed’s father, Ben, was a drummer who played with Andy Kirk for sixteen years during the 1930s and 1940s. Ed was raised in Los Angeles, California and attended Thomas Jefferson High School, which was also attended by Art Farmer, Dexter Gordon and Chico Hamilton. Thigpen first worked professionally in New York City with the Cootie Williams orchestra from 1951-1952 at the Savoy Ballroom. After working with Dinah Washington, Gil Melle, Oscar Pettiford, Eddie Vinson, Paul Quinichette, Ernie Wilkins, Charlie Rouse, Lennie Tristano, Jutta Hipp, Johnny Hodges, Dorothy Ashby, Bud Powell, and Billy Taylor, he replaced guitarist Herb Ellis in the Oscar Peterson Trio in 1959 in Toronto, Canada.

After leaving Peterson he recorded one album as a leader for Verve, Out Of The Storm of 1966. He then toured with Ella Fitzgerald from 1967-1972, after which he settled in Copenhagen, Denmark. In Denmark, Thigpen worked with a variety of artists, including Alice Babs, Kenny Drew, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Ernie Wilkins, Svend Asmussen, Clark Terry, Milt Jackson, Monty Alexander and Thad Jones

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