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Leon Thomas

Leon Thomas is one of the most unique and gifted of all jazz vocalists, he shocked the jazz world with his amazing capabilities when he took it by storm in the late 1960s with his collaborations with Pharoah Sanders. Leon Thomas born in East St. Louis, Illinois on Oct. 4 1937, and studied music at Tennesseee State University, eventually moving to New York City in 1958. Early sessions included work with names like Count Basie, Randy Weston, Roland Kirk and Oliver Nelson before linking up with Pharoah Sanders for a partnership that continues to entrance listeners today. Leon recorded on two of Sanders’ most renowned classics “Karma,” (1969) and “Jewels Of Thought,” (1970) and his vocals on the cuts "The Creator Has A Master Plan" and "Hum-Allah" have ensured his reputation

Muse Records: Ten Smoking Hot Albums

Read "Muse Records: Ten Smoking Hot Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Alone among the other great jazz labels of the 1960s and 1970s—Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!, Strata-East and Atlantic—Joe Fields' Muse is rarely anthologised, written about or otherwise celebrated. Yet like its peers, Muse was prolific, releasing over 200 premium-grade albums during the 1970s, its most active decade, alone. This relative obscurity is ...

Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter

Read "Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter" reviewed by Chris May

Jazz has been inextricably linked with social and political protest since at least the late 1930s, when Billie Holiday made famous the leftist songwriter and poet Abel Meeropol's “Strange Fruit." The song, which has a power to move that is undiminished by familiarity, likens the bodies of lynched African Americans to fruit hanging in trees.

New Jazz From London: Top 20 Paradigm Shifting Albums

Read "New Jazz From London: Top 20 Paradigm Shifting Albums" reviewed by Chris May

After a lifetime trying to get on an equal footing with its American parent, British jazz has finally come of age. Since around 2015, a community of young, London-based musicians has forged a style which, while anchored in the American tradition, reflects the Caribbean and African cultural heritages of many of its vanguard players. The scene ...

Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman Records: Ten High Altitude Albums

Read "Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman Records: Ten High Altitude Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Bob Thiele is best remembered for his years as the artistic director and house producer of Impulse!. He took over from founder producer Creed Taylor in 1961 and stayed with the label until 1969, when he left to run his own Flying Dutchman Records. Thiele's tenure at Impulse! was its most glorious period, when Thiele curated ...

Strata-East: Seizing the Time

Read "Strata-East: Seizing the Time" reviewed by Chris May

Operating on minimum finance and maximum passion, Brooklyn's Strata-East label was a pivotal platform for the spiritual-jazz movement that emerged during the Civil Rights struggle of the 1970s. Its closest contemporary comparator was Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Both were non-profit organisations. The AACM was non-profit by design. With Strata-East, co-founder Charles Tolliver ...

Spirits Known And Unknown

Label: Ace Records UK
Released: 2019
Track listing: The Creator Has A Master Plan; One; Echoes; Song For My Father; Damn Nam (Ain’t Goin’ To Vietnam); Malcolm’s Gone; Let The Rain Fall On Me; A Night In Tunisia; Damn Nam (Ain’t Goin’ To Vietnam) (live); Um Um Um (live).

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Leon Thomas: Spirits Known And Unknown

Read "Spirits Known And Unknown" reviewed by Chris May

Spiritual-jazz fans in London have had a good 2019. The music looms large in several of the most prominent bands on the city's happening woke jazz scene. On top of that, London's Gearbox Records released Mothership, an on-point album by singer Dwight Trible, who also played a memorable one-nighter at Ronnie Scott's club. ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Day and Taxi, Adam Rudolph, Harish Raghavan and More

Read "Day and Taxi,  Adam Rudolph, Harish Raghavan and More" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

First out of the mixed bag of audio treats this week (it's Halloween after all!) is a track from Oliver Lake's first recording 43 years ago Ntu: The Point from Which Creation Begins. I haven't played Oliver in a while and that seemed like a good place to begin catching up. Adam Rudolph's epic project, Ragmala, ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Dwight Trible at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club

Read "Dwight Trible at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club" reviewed by Chris May

Dwight Trible Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club London August 17, 2019 Dwight Trible inhabits a song with more than just his voice, he does so with his whole body—he uses every available limb and digit and twists and turns and shoehorns himself into his material. At Ronnie's tonight he ...


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