On Sunday 19th February, at 9.00-10.15pm, BBC FOUR will be showing a film about Barbara Thompson, professional jazz saxophonist and composer. Who just happens to have Parkinson’s. It goes without saying that music must play a vital part in her battle with the condition, although I imagine that there is a terrible fear that she will lose the ability to play. Thompson and her husband, Jon Hiseman (jazz-rock drummer and mainstay of the jazz-prog-rock band Colosseum) are apparently remarkably candid about their experiences with Parkinson’s.
From her birth date on Wikipedia, Thompson would be part of my parents’ generation, and so I doubt that her Parkinson’s would necessarily be described as Young Onset. However, as a working musician, she probably has much in common with younger Parkies.
The BBC’s official description of the showing – a broadcast premiere – can be found here .
I’m no jazz buff (I have a few jazz albums amongst the pop, rock and folk that make up my usual fare, but they are largely predictable classics and compilations), and neither artist has really appeared on my radar thus far, but I shall certainly be setting the hard disk recorder for this film.
Update (23 Feb 2012): See my comments on the programme here.