Michael Thomas: The Messenger
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For DC-based trumpeter Michael Thomas this initial release is the result of a true labor of love. Not one to wait for a record label to come knocking at his door, Thomas seized the initiative himself, not only starting his own label and releasing his own debut disc, but also developing his own home studio to lay down these 10 persuasive tracks. Thomas has a brass proud trumpeter's arrogance in sound but not demeanor. The title is an apt one as the feeling harkens back to Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers without in any way being imitative. And Mr. Do Everything Michael Thomas also wrote all but three of these tunes, mining the books of Sahib Shihab, Tina Brooks, and Mal Waldron for the other three. From Waldron's book he beautifully essays the ever-lovely "Soul Eyes" as a quartet feature for his flugelhorn.
Elsewhere the chores are shared roundly by Thomas' mates the edgy tenor saxman Zack Graddy, bassist Kent Miller, drummer Frank Williams lV, pianist Darius Scott, and he broadens the band on two tracks with the energetic altoist Antonio Parker. Highly recommended.
Track Listing: Tense Moments - 9:12 Rue De La Harpe (Sahib Shahab) 7:28 The Little Individual - 11:47 The Messenger - 6:49 Soul Eyes (Mal Waldron) - 7:36 The Warm Up (Interlude) - 0:44 Mike's Blues - 8:22 Subtle Thoughts - 5:52 Back To The Tracks (Tina Brooks) - 7:01 Mike's Little Samba - 8:53
Personnel: Michael Thomas - Trumpet/Flugelhorn Zack Graddy - Tenor Saxophone Darius Scott - Piano Kent Miller - Bass Frank Williams IV - Drums (*)Antonio Parker - Alto Saxophone * - special guest
Record Label: JazHead Entertainment