On-Demand: Chester Thompson

On-Demand: Chester Thompson

A photograph of Chester Thompson seated at the organ

Member Price: $4.99

Non-Member Price: $9.99

Gravy Train

ON-DEMAND • DEC 8 - MAR 9, 2022 

On-demand purchases allow for unlimited views during the availability window on sfjazz.org as well as on the SFJAZZ app (also note – 50% Member discounts are currently unavailable on the app).

One of the most revered Hammond organists alive, Chester Thompson has led a charmed musical life – writing, recording and performing for four decades with two of the legendary bands to emerge in the 1960s and 1970s, Tower of Power and Santana. He made his Miner Auditorium debut with a Thanksgiving time groove-fest including originals, standards, and music from saxophone great Lou Donaldson’s 1962 Blue Note soul-jazz classic Gravy Train, with his band including saxophonist Howard Wiley, guitarist Drew Zingg, and drummer Darrell Green.

Arriving in the Bay Area in 1969, Thompson worked with stalwart San Francisco saxophonist Jules Broussard before forming his own quartet, eventually releasing his aptly named 1971 debut, Powerhouse, on the Black Jazz label. He served a 10-year stint with Oakland-based funk phenomenon Tower of Power beginning in 1973, composing most of the band’s instrumental tunes and touring relentlessly before leaving to explore new horizons with Santana. Thompson recorded eight albums over his 26 years with Santana, and contributed greatly to their 1999 commercial zenith Supernatural, which sold over 30 million copies and won nine GRAMMY awards, including Album of the Year. Upon leaving the Santana fold in 2009, Thompson dove headlong back into jazz and released his 2012 follow-up to Powerhouse, entitled Mixology.

compositions by Chester Thompson, unless otherwise noted
"Gravy Train" Lou Donaldson
"Mr. T" 
"Howard’s Tune" 
"Moontrane" Woody Shaw
"You Leave Me Breathless" Ralph Freed, Frederick Hollander
"Squib Cakes" 

Chester Thompson
Hammond B3
Howard Wiley tenor saxophone
Drew Zingg guitar
Darrell Green drums


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