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  • Author: gravita
  • Date: 27-09-2013, 14:25
27-09-2013, 14:25

Leon Thomas - Blues and the Soulful Truth (1972)

Category: Music

Leon Thomas - Blues and the Soulful Truth (1972)
Leon Thomas | Blues and the Soulful Truth
Release:1972 | FLAC (Tracks)+CUELOG | 289 mb
Genre: Jazz-FunkElectric Blues

The late Leon Thomas was a vocalist who has proven to be influential among jazz and blues saxophonistsguitaristsand pianistswho've admitted their debt to his innovation. Howeverthough there are many jazz and blues vocalists who have benefited from his style as wellhe is seldom acknowledged for his highly original -- and idiosyncratic -- contribution to them. One can only speculate as to whythough Thomas' full-throated style which employed everything from yodels and Joe Turner-ish growls and shouts may have been too wide for anyone to grasp in its entirety without overtly sounding as if they were aping him. At the time of this reissue (2001)the only other Leon Thomas titles available under his own leadership were a European best-of collection and the inferior live album (badly edited)Sunrise on Gold Mountain. Blues and the Soulful Truth is among the artist's most enduring performanceseither as a leader or sideman. There is his trademarkotherworldly modal improvisation on Gabor Szabo's exotica classic "Gypsy Queen," the deepgreasy gutbucketfunky blues of "Let's Go Down to Lucy" and "L-O-V-E," and the traditional tune "C.C. Rider" -- though Thomas' arrangement is anything but -- among a lengthyeight-song set. Perhaps the most revealing examples of his singularity is his ability to interpret a song like John Lee Hooker's "BoomBoom" as funkyjazzed-outangular R&B -- enabled mightily by the saxophone stylings of Pee Wee Ellis and the criminally under-appreciated pianism of Neal Creque and the wild violin of John Blair -- after coming out of a pop-oriented soul tune such as "Love Each Other," written with a groove prevalent among commercial jazz and R&B recordings of the timeboth sounding sincereauthenticand completely full of the singer's presence. Indeedon the aforementioned "Gypsy Queen" or his own "Shape Your Mind to Die," Thomas inhabits his material fullyas if nobody ever had ever sung or heard these songs and would ever sing them again. Alsothe production innovation and percussive touches many of these tunes have yet to be repeated (Pharoah SandersThomas' previous employer who introduced the singer to the worldadopted some of the artist's percussive techniques permanently)like the firecrackers raining against Airto Moreira's drums and Larry Coryell's ethereal guitar riffsor the use of a "prepared" vibraphone and coat hangers in "China Doll," as they slip against the singer's wail and moanand the elegant stick and brushwork of Bernard "Pretty" Purdie. In sumBlues and the Soulful Truth (Which does echo Oliver Nelson's Blues and the Abstract Truth in vision as well as title)is a tour through the depth and dimension of Thomas' mind-blowing abilities as a singer in a wide range of African American musical traditionsproving at the timeand now againthat he was far more than a free jazz singer. Indeedthe artist not only was a stylist of originalitybut a composerarrangerethnomusicologistand a singer of startling beauty and power -- no matter the song. This album is a singular achievementeven among the fine recordings in Thomas' own catalogueand should be considered first by those curious enough to look into his work -- you won't be disappointed no matter what you findbut this one will take you places you never anticipated going. ~ Thom JurekAll Music Guide


1. Let's Go Down to Lucy [EllisThomas] (04:27)
2. L-O-V-E [Thomas] (02:54)
3. Gypsy Queen [SzaboWeiss] (10:19)
4. Love Each Other [Thomas] (03:16)
5. Shape Your Mind to Die [CrequeCrequetThomas] (05:22)
6. Boom-Boom-Boom [Hooker] (04:52)
7. China Doll [EllisKilpatrickThomas] (05:07)
8. C.C. Rider [Traditional] (06:23)


Leon Thomas ArrangerBottleNoisePercussionVocals
Pee Wee Ellis ArrangerConductorMarimbaOrganPianoSaxophone (Baritone)Saxophone (Soprano)Saxophone (Tenor)
Neal Creque OrganPianoPiano (Electric)
Don Pate BassBass (Electric)
Cornell Dupree Guitar (Electric)
Bernard Purdie Drums
Baba Feme CongaPercussion
Albertine Robinson BassVocals
Stanley Clarke Bass
John Blair ViolinVitar
Tasha Thomas Vocals
Larry Coryell Guitar (Electric)
John Eckert Trombone
Gordon Edwards Bass (Electric)Guitar (Bass)
Gene Golden Conga
Dick Griffin Trumpet
Lani Groves Vocals
Carl Hall Vocals
Hilda Harris Vocals
Jesse Kilpatrick Drums
Airto Moreira Drums
Cecil Payne Saxophone (Baritone)

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