b. Arthur Edward George Themen, 26 November 1939, Manchester, England. A self-taught musician, Themen played tenor saxophone with a university jazz band while studying medicine at Cambridge. After qualifying as a doctor, he moved to London and in the early 60s played in several blues and R&B bands and also worked in the backing groups for numerous pop sessions. During this period he worked with Alexis Korner, Phil Seamen, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker and Long John Baldry. In the late 60s and early 70s his musical direction shifted towards jazz and he played with Barbara Thompson, Michael Garrick, Henry Lowther and Graham Collier. In 1974 he began a long and particularly fruitful association with Stan Tracey, which continued into the 90s. He has also accompanied numerous visiting US jazzmen, including Al Haig, Red Rodney, George Coleman and Nat Adderley. A highly individual playing style marks Themen’s performances and had he chosen to adopt music as a full-time career he would have doubtless been an international artist of considerable stature. That he has achieved his present high standing in the jazz world while at the same time pursuing his medical career as a consultant surgeon, is testimony to his remarkable gifts.