tom fowler

Thomas W Fowler, Writer, arranger, lyricist, bassist, violinist

Born 1951 Salt Lake City.Utah. Third son of Jazz educater Dr. William L Fowler and English teacher and writer Beatrice Cottam Fowler.   Grandson of Dr. Walter P Cottam, internationally known Botanist.  Great grandson of Alfred Lambourne, famous Utah painter, studied violin from age 6.   Added upright bass age 13.   Added electric bass guitar age 16.

Performed and recorded with:  Ray Charles (for 10 years, started in 1993 and ended with Elton John duet on his last cd).  He also recorded and toured with  Frank Zappa, The Fowler Brothers, "It's a Beautiful Day,"  George Duke, Sleepy Matsumoto, Hildegard Kneff, Bingo Mikki, Jean-luc Ponty and more.   Tom Fowler is the main bassist on "Genius Loves Company" and the movie "Ray."

On July 13, 2011, Bobby Marquis aired an interview with Tom Fowler on CKCU-FM, Ottowa's community radio station. This was a part of his "Frank Zappa Alumni Special" series.  Also in 2011,  TOM FOWLER recently released his second solo CD "Let's Start Over" featuring Vocalist Andrea Miller, Guitarist Mike Miller, Brother Walt Fowler on keyboards and trumpet and flugel horn and Gary Novak on drums.

Early 2012, Tom Fowler joined the GrandMothers Re:Invented, replacing Roy Estrada.

2013, Tom left The GrandMothers Re:Invented and did a tour with Project/Object. He also did some concerts with Roister, a band that features Ray White.


     from: grahamco

anyone know why tom fowler left the 74 tour before it ended?

     from: biffyshrew (

he injured his hand playing football (leading to a new fz tour rule: no sports for the musicians).  he didn't leave the tour, as he had to prompt his underrehearsed replacement from the wings with a pointer and a chart of notes...

tom has a solo release 'heartscapes' which sounds a bit like level 42.

tom also played on steve hackett's 1978 release "please don't touch". also on the album was chester thompson, phil ehart, richie havens, steve walsh, john hackett, randy crawford and several others.

also, see the "fowler brothers".

     from: (greg fellman) - date: 9 sep 1997 05:06:33 gmt

last night i went to see ray charles play with the colorado symphony orchestra at fiddler's green here in denver.  at the beginning of the show they were introducing a couple additions to the orchestra and one of them was tom fowler on bass guitar!  i was shocked!  i'm not sure if he's regularly playing with ray or not.  nonetheless it was quite an amazing show.  no fowler solo though!

     from: patrick neve (

last i saw of tom fowler was him playing magnificently with the band from utopia in december of 98. 

     from: "georges m. bouhey" (

i played in a band called "ocean of air" w/tom and bruce in early seventies, in salt lake city.  we had a fusion band with tom and bruce (drums, bass, guitar, trombone) and we also had "club" band that played park city most of the winter.

     from: thomas teresi (

tom fowler played in my group affirmation in the 80s, we did two albums affirmation,  "lost angeles" (not lost angels), and affirmation "identity crisis", both due to be reissued on cd in feb. 2001, on rhombus records, frankly yours, thomas teresi




(all credits are for bass unless otherwise specified)




  1971 it's a beautiful day- choice quality stuff/anytime  
  1972 it's a beautiful day- live at carnegie hall   


the mothers: over-nite sensation
   (1973, lp, usa, discreet)


frank zappa: apostrophe (')
   (1974, lp, usa, discreet)


zappa / mothers: roxy & elsewhere
   (1974, 2lp, usa, discreet)


frank zappa and the mothers of invention: one size fits all
   (1975, lp, usa, discreet)


zappa / beefheart / mothers: bongo fury
   (1975, lp, usa, discreet)
  1975 ponty, jean-luc- aurora    
  1975 ponty, jean-luc- voyage: the jean-luc ponty antholog    
  1975 duke, george- i love the blues, she heard my cry     
  1976 ponty, jean-luc- imaginary voyage  
  george duke: i love the blues, she heard my cry (7)
    (1976, lp, usa, mps) - feat.bruce fowler, johnny "guitar" watson, ruth underwood
  air pocket: fly on
    (1976, lp, ??, ??) - feat. fowler brothers, albert wing, mike miller, chester thompson  //  reissued on cd in 2002

  1978 hackett, steve- please don't touch!   


frank zappa: studio tan
   (1978, lp, usa, discreet)

  frank zappa: studio tan (24)
   (1978, lp, usa, discreet)
  198? affirmation- affirmation    
  1980 affirmation- lost angeles    
  the grandmothers: lookin' up granny's dress  (3)
    (1982, lp, us, rhino records  rnlp 804) - feat. various ex-moi; incl.zappa compositions

gm_lookinup.jpg (23374 bytes)

  1984 various artists: thelonious: that's the way i feel now - tribute   
  1985 various artists: tribute to kurt weill: lost in the stars  
  fowler brothers airpocket: hunter
    (1985, lp, usa, fossil records fbr 001) - feat. albert wing, chester thompson  //  reissued on cd in 1993

  1986 frank zappa- apostrophe/over-nite sensation  
  1987 frank zappa: the old masters box 3  
  1987 frank zappa: the guitar world according to frank zappa  
  1988 frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore sampler  
  fowler brothers: breakfast for dinosaurs
(1988, cd, usa, fossil fbr 1002) - feat. albert wing, chester thompson, vinnie colaiuta, ike willis

51 frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.1
   (1988, 2cd, usa, ryko)


frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.2
   (1988, 2cd, usa, ryko)
54 frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.3
   (1989, 2cd, usa, ryko)
  bruce fowler: ants can count (2)
    (1990, cd, us, terra nova tnd-9002) - inside cover art by don van vliet  /  feat.
various zappa alumni
  arthur barrow: music for listening (1)
    (1991, cd, usa, tom&slev's new masters green 01) - feat.walt fowler, bruce fowler, tom fowler, robert williams

  zappa / mothers: unmitigated audacity
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 70540)
  frank zappa: piquantique
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 70544)
  1991 frank zappa: piquantique  
  1991 frank zappa: studio tan  
  1988 frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.4  
  1988 frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.6  


frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.4
   (1991, 2cd, usa, ryko)  
  1992 kim angelis- violin voyager   
  tom fowler: heartscapes
    (1992, cd, usa, fossil records) - feat. lots of zappa alumni

59 frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.6
   (1992, 2cd, usa, ryko)
  steve fowler: the last blue sky  (2)
    (1992, cd, usa, fossil records) - feat.walt, bruce and tom fowler, albert wing, chester thompson and ed mann


bruce fowler: entropy (3)
   (1993, cd, us, fossil records fbr 1005) - feat.steve, tom & walt fowler, a.wing, ch.thompson, k.mcgettrick

  1993 captain beefheart: captain hook  
  don preston: vile foamy ectoplasm (1)
    (1993, cd, ger, muffin records muffin cdmr 003) - feat. ex-moi and ex-zappa bandmembers 
  the band from utopia: a tribute to the music of frank zappa - live vol.1 & 2
    (1994, cd-pro, muffin records) - all compositions by frank zappa, feat.lots of zappa alumni

  the band from utopia: the band from utopia (1)
    (1995, cd, usa, muffin records productions)  - all compositions by frank zappa, feat.lots of zappa alumni

  arthur barrow: eyebrow razor (2)
(1995, cd, usa, muffin records productions mrp 024) - feat.walt, steve, tom & bruce fowler, kurt mcgettrick, ike willis, ray white


frank zappa: the lost episodes
   (1996, cd, usa, ryko)


frank zappa: läther
   (1996, 3cd, usa, ryko)


frank zappa: frank zappa plays the music of frank zappa
   (1996, cd, usa, barking pumpkin)

  1996 supernatural fairy tales: the progressive rock era (box set)  


frank zappa: have i offended someone?
   (1997, cd, usa, ryko)

  1999 captain beefheart: the dust blows forward  
  1999 frank zappa: the son of cheep thrills  
  kneejerk / abjure: don't clap it startles me  
  the band from utopia: a tribute to the music of frank zappa
    (2001, dvd, ger, tdk dv-jtbfu) - all compositions by frank zappa

  the grandmothers: the eternal question
    (2001, cdr, ger,
inkanish records) - feat. various ex-moi; incl.zappa compositions

  the banned from utopia: so yuh don't like modern art  (2)
    (2002, cd, usa, favored nations) - various compositions by frank zappa; feat.various zappa alumni

  2003 hildegard knef: stationenen  dvd  
  2003 hildegard knef: stationenen / das letzte konzert 28. januar 1986  dvd  
  2003 palehorse: gee, that ain't swell  
  2004 ray charles: genius loves company  


frank zappa: quaudiophiliac
    (2004, dvda, usa, dts entertainment 69286-01125-9-9)

  2005 ray charles & nora jones: here we go again  
  2007 george duke: keyboard giant  
  jimmy carl black: when do we get paid?
    (2007, cd, usa, crossfire) - feat. don preston, walt & tom fowler
  don preston: vile foamy ectoplasm
    (2007, cd, usa, crossfire publications) - feat. frank zappa, ex-moi and ex-zappa bandmembers


frank zappa: the dub room special
    (2007, cd, usa, zappa records)

  2008 michael tinholme: the house of jazz  


frank zappa: one shot deal
    (2008, cd, usa, zappa records)

  frank zappa: penguin in bondage - the little known history of the mothers of invention
    (2011, download, usa, zappa records)

fz_penguin2011dl.jpg (32087 bytes)

  tom fowler interface: let's start over
    (2011, cd, usa, private release)

tomfowler_letsstartover.jpg (18056 bytes)

  the grande mothers of invention: happy mothers day
    (2012, cd, switzerland, pinguin ing. büro) = napoleon murphy brock & don preston / all compositions by frank zappa

grandmothers_happymothersday.jpg (42317 bytes)

  various artists: zappanale 24 - good-bye session
    (2013, dvdr, ger, arf society) - feat. albert wing, mike miller, robert martin, tom fower  //  including various frank zappa themes

z24_goodbyesession.jpg (16937 bytes)


frank zappa: road tapes - finlandia hall, helsinki, finland 23, 24 august 1973
    (2013, cd, usa, vaulternative records)
fz_roadtapes02.jpg (29253 bytes)


frank zappa: a token of his extreme soundtrack
    (2013, cd, usa, zappa records)
fz_atohe_soundtrackcd.jpg (27662 bytes)

don preston: out of the vault
    (2014, cd, usa, brain records) - feat. bunk gardner, dave parlato, arthur barrow, bruce fowler, walt fowler, tom fowler  //  incl. 'eric dolphy' (frank zappa)

donpreston_outofthevault.jpg (30269 bytes)

  tom fowler: living legend
    (scheduled, cd, usa, muffin record productions)
  the banned from utopia: zappanale 26
    (2015, dvdr, ger, arf society) - all compositions by frank zappa; feat. various zappa alumni
z26_bfu_dvdr.jpg (15211 bytes)
  jean-luc ponty: waving memories - live in chicago 1975
    (2015, cd, uk, hi hat) - feat. tom fowler


frank zappa & the mothers: roxy the movie
    (2015, cd+dvd, eu, eagle vision eagdv050)
fz_roxythemovie.jpg (36036 bytes)
102 frank zappa & the mothers: roxy the movie
    (2015, dvd, eur, eagle vision)
zappa_roxy_dvd.jpg (54282 bytes)
102 frank zappa & the mothers: roxy the movie
    (2015, blu-ray, eur, eagle vision)
zappa_roxy_br.jpg (43508 bytes)
various artists: zappanale # 26
    (2016, 3cd, ger, arf society) - incl. various frank zappa compositions, feat. napoleon murphy brock, ike willis, denny walley, jeff hollie, craig twister steward, ed mann, robert martin, albert wing, ray white, tom fowler, robbie mangano, mats öberg

varart_zappanale26.jpg (27415 bytes)


frank zappa: the crux of the biscuit
    (2016, cd, usa, zappa records zr20020)

fz_cruxofthebiscuit.jpg (32468 bytes)
  documentary: frank zappa - eat that question
    (2017, dvd, ger, arsenal filmverleih) - includes interviews with frank zappa, tommy mars, arthur barrow, bruce fowler, tom fowler, ed mann, kurt mcgettrick, chad wackerman and robert martin

fz_eatthatquestion_dvd_ger.jpg (36144 bytes)



semi-official albums

  frank zappa and captain beefheart: providence college, rhode island, april 26, 1975
    (2014, 2cd, uk, keyhole kh2cd9028)
fz_cb_19750426_keyhole.jpg (37765 bytes)
  frank zappa: the muffin man goes to college (live)
    (2015, spotify, --, sonic boom) = 1975/04/26 providence concert
fz_muffinmangoestocollege_spotify.jpg (14171 bytes)
  jean-luc ponty: waving memories - live in chicago 1975
    (2017, cd, ??, hi hat) - feat. tom fowler

jl_ponty_wavingmemories_cd.jpg (24577 bytes)

  frank zappa featuring captain beefheart: the muffin mand goes to college
    (2018, lp, uk, cult legends) = 1975/04/26 providence concert





1989 the true story of 200 motels


frank zappa  / musicians timeline



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soundtracks various artists