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PROFILES

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 ...

INTERVIEWS

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 REVIEWS

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 REVIEWS

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 REVIEWS

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jay Thomas/Becca Duran: Song for Rita

Read "Song for Rita" reviewed by Dave Nathan

Jay Thomas is a fine multi-instrumentalist, equally at home with flute, soprano sax, flugelhorn and trumpet. And the playing of any one of these instruments in no way compromises his playing on any of the others. Like Benny Carter, he is one of very few jazz musicians who are adept on instruments with very different mouthpieces and therefore requiring very different embouchures.

Song for Rita is Thomas' 5th album as a leader and presents a variety of Latin sounds and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jay Thomas: 12th and Jackson Blues: Live at the Cotton Club

Read "12th and Jackson Blues: Live at the Cotton Club" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Blakey and Company. Multi-instrumentalist Jay Thomas was greatly influenced by the Hard Bop pioneered in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. Foremost was the spell cast by Art Blakey and it is this influence that is most evident on 12th and Jackson Blues, where he plays like Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, and Wayne Shorter all rolled into one. A Hard Bop delight from start to finish.

A native of Seattle before it was know for grunge rock, Thomas, ...


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