Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEW

Jay Thomas Quartet: Upside

Read "Upside" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Seattle-based musician Jay Thomas may be considered the oddest of ducks in the jazz universe. By that, I am referring to his fierce musicality expressed both on trumpet and saxophone, as well as most members of the brass and woodwind families. Inspired early in his career by the like minded veteran Ira Sullivan, Thomas in a single night will drift from trumpet to tenor, from flugelhorn to alto, and then double back on flute and soprano. He may as well ...

PROFILE

20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Jay Thomas

Read "20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Jay Thomas" reviewed by Paul Rauch

The city of Seattle has a jazz history that dates back to the very beginnings of the form. It was home to the first integrated club scene in America on Jackson St in the 1920's and 30's. It saw a young Ray Charles arrive as a teenager to escape the nightmare of Jim Crow in the south. It has produced such historical jazz icons as Quincy Jones and Ernestine Anderson. In many instances it has acted as a temporary repose ...

PROFILE

Tula's Jazz Club: Soliloquy to a Seattle Jazz Institution

Read "Tula's Jazz Club: Soliloquy to a Seattle Jazz Institution" reviewed by Paul Rauch

It was the tail end of a long weekend. Temperatures had risen to 80 degrees under a sunny only-in-Seattle blue sky, the waterways and markets humming with a sea of humanity. It was not a night one would expect many to venture into the quiet, dark solitude of Tula's Jazz Club, where for nearly 26 years the best of Seattle's vibrant jazz scene had come to roost. The scene up and down Second Avenue in Belltown was its usual interesting ...

INTERVIEW

Jay Thomas: We Always Knew

Read "Jay Thomas: We Always Knew" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Legacy is a fleeting notion. It is incomprehensible in real time when a career hits high points, when certain doors open to quantitative opportunity. Jay Thomas can tell you a thing or two about that, based on his own personal experience as a jazz artist over half a century. His story includes playing on the Seattle scene as a teenager, leading to opportunities hampered by among other things, drug addiction. It is as well a story of overcoming those obstacles ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Jay Thomas / Gary Smulyan: Lowdown Hoedown

Read "Lowdown Hoedown" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Sometimes the most joyous and satisfying things in life occur in the light of pure happenstance. Such was the case when New York based baritone saxophone master Gary Smulyan ventured west in the 90's to perform and teach at the Jazz Port Townsend Festival in Washington state, in those days directed by veteran saxman, Bud Shank. There he met an unusually remarkable and versatile musician, Jay Thomas, a jny: Seattle native and resident, and a friendship was forged that at ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Jay Thomas and Wataru Hamasaki: Accidentally Yours

Read "Accidentally Yours" reviewed by Jason West

Jay Thomas, Wataru Hamasaki, and Geoffrey Keezer divide the lion's share of jazz improvisation on this May, 2004 session taped at Ironwood Studios in Seattle, and while Thomas (a veteran Northwest trumpeter gaining international attention) and Keezer (whose resume includes stints with Art Farmer and Ray Brown) are well-established players, Hamasaki is a virtual unknown. Now here he is playing with the big boys, and making a big impression.

Thomas encountered Hamasaki on a recent sojourn to the land of ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Jay Thomas: Blues for JW

Read "Blues for JW" reviewed by Michael P. Gladstone

With a multi-horn specialist like Jay Thomas, you get a lot more bang for your buck, since his main axe is the trumpet/flugelhorn (a la Ira Sullivan, Australia's James Morrison and Benny Carter). Thomas is a Seattle-based musician who has appeared on sixty recorded sessions. This, his eighth album as a leader, was recorded at Tula's Jazz Club in Seattle exactly one year ago. With over four decades in the business, Thomas started with Machito's Band in the '60s and ...


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