182

Rene Thomas: Guitaristic

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Rene Thomas: Guitaristic Belgian guitarist René Thomas could be the missing link between Django Reinhardt and Grant Green. On this collection of small group sides from the mid-1950s he proves why he was so valued by his peers on both sides of the Atlantic. Although the music is deeply within the West Coast tradition, the fact that he would be recording in the far more heated circumstances of Sonny Rollins' company within a few short years is a testament to how adaptable he was.

The passing of time has not been kind to this music however, and for much of this program the listener might hear only the sum total of many musicians' influences. Tenor saxophonist Andre Ross is a case in point on "All The Things You Are," where his debts to both Stan Getz and Jack Montrose are abundantly obvious. That point is even more applicable to "Imy," where a tenor sax and trombone front line seems intent on replicating the Getz groups that featured Bob Brookmeyer or J.J. Johnson. Thomas' rhythmic sense gets the better of things though, and the ears prick up whenever he hits his flow, especially as he doesn't bring to mind any player other than himself. That said, he doesn't match Charlie Parker's break on "Night In Tunisia," but then only those who live in expectation of miracles would hold that against him.

Thompson avoids the obvious on his reading of "Lover Man" in a way that few musicians on any instrument at the time did. His lyrical sense is whimsical without being either sentimental or mawkish. The result is something rare indeed, and just to prove that performance to be no fluke, he brings the same creativity to his rendering of "My Old Flame." It's as if he was strictly adhering to Lester Young's remark to the effect that no musician could really play a song without close knowledge of the lyrics.

This is one of those releases the importance of which is historical as well as musical, not least because it trumps the notion that European musicians were incapable of making jazz to such telling effect as their American counterparts. Both students of jazz guitar and historians are thus well served by this release despite the qualifications discussed above.


Track Listing: L'Imbecile; How About You?; All The Things You Are; Relaxin' At The Balcon; There Will Never Be Another You; Lover Man; Burt's Pad; Autobuzz; 'Tis Autumn; Indiana; Thomasia; Sextuis; Influence; Guitaristic; Imy; The Real Cat; Someone To Watch Over Me; Get Happy; A Night In Tunisia; My Old Flame; Easy To Love; Goodnight, Wherever You Are.

Personnel: Rene Thomas: guitar; Andre Ross: tenor sax (1, 3); Rene Urtreger: piano (1-6); Benoit Quersin: bass (1-6, 12-22); Jean-Marie Ingrand: bass (1-11); Jean-Louis Viale: drums (1-11); Buzz Gardner: trumpet (7-11); Henri Renaud: piano (7-15); Jean-Louis Chautemps: tenor sax (12-15); Christian Kellens: trombone (12-15); Jacques David: drums (12-15); Serge "Bib" Monville: tenor sax (16-22); Roland Ronchaud: piano (16-22); Jose Bourguignon: drums (16-22).

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: FiveFour | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Genesis" CD/LP/Track Review Genesis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "My Foolish Heart" CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "The Evolution Suite" CD/LP/Track Review The Evolution Suite
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 10, 2016
Read "Miniatures" CD/LP/Track Review Miniatures
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 20, 2016
Read "Iridescent Clouds" CD/LP/Track Review Iridescent Clouds
by James Nadal
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Duo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!