LEON THOMAS

Vocal Jazz / Blues • United States
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Amos Leon Thomas Jr (born 1937, died May 8, 1999) was an American avant garde jazz singer from East St. Louis, Illinois. He changed his name to Leone in 1974.

Thomas is best known for his work with Pharoah Sanders, particularly the 1969 song "The Creator Has a Master Plan" from Sanders' Karma album. Thomas's most distinctive device was that he often broke out into yodeling in the middle of a vocal. This style has influenced singers James Moody and Tim Buckley,among others.

Thomas studied music at Tennessee State University. He also worked with Grant Green, Jimmy Forrest, and Hank Crawford, Count Basie, Mary Lou Williams, Randy Weston, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Louis Armstrong, Carlos Santana, Freddie Hubbard and Oliver Nelson.

Thomas died of heart failure on May 8, 1999.

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Spirits Known & UnknownSpirits Known & Unknown
Beat Goes Public Bgp 2013
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Leon Thomas AlbumLeon Thomas Album
Beat Goes Public Bgp 2013
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The Creator 1969-1973: The Best Of The Flying Dutchman MastersThe Creator 1969-1973: The Best Of The Flying Dutchman Masters
BGP / Beat Goes Public 2013
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Blues & the Soulful TruthBlues & the Soulful Truth
Bgp 2014
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Full CircleFull Circle
Bgp 2015
$6.95
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LEON THOMAS Discography

LEON THOMAS albums / top albums

LEON THOMAS Spirits Known and Unknown album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Spirits Known and Unknown
Vocal Jazz 1969
LEON THOMAS The Leon Thomas Album album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Leon Thomas Album
Vocal Jazz 1970
LEON THOMAS Blues and the Soulful Truth album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Blues and the Soulful Truth
Vocal Jazz 1972
LEON THOMAS Full Circle album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Full Circle
Vocal Jazz 1973
LEON THOMAS The Leon Thomas Blues Band album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Leon Thomas Blues Band
Blues 1988

LEON THOMAS EPs & splits

LEON THOMAS live albums

LEON THOMAS Gold Sunrise on Magic Mountain album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gold Sunrise on Magic Mountain
Vocal Jazz 1971
LEON THOMAS In Berlin album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In Berlin
Vocal Jazz 1971
LEON THOMAS A Piece Of Cake album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Piece Of Cake
Vocal Jazz 1980
LEON THOMAS Leon Thomas, Gary Bartz Quintet ‎: Precious Energy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Leon Thomas, Gary Bartz Quintet ‎: Precious Energy
Vocal Jazz 1990

LEON THOMAS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

LEON THOMAS re-issues & compilations

LEON THOMAS Facets - The Legend Of Leon Thomas album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Facets - The Legend Of Leon Thomas
Vocal Jazz 1973
LEON THOMAS The Legend album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Legend
Vocal Jazz 1976
LEON THOMAS V.I.P. - Jazz 15 Leon Thomas album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
V.I.P. - Jazz 15 Leon Thomas
Vocal Jazz 1979
LEON THOMAS Anthology album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Anthology
Vocal Jazz 1998
LEON THOMAS The Creator 1969-1973 (The Best Of The Flying Dutchman Masters) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Creator 1969-1973 (The Best Of The Flying Dutchman Masters)
Vocal Jazz 2013

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LEON THOMAS Reviews

LEON THOMAS Spirits Known and Unknown

Album · 1969 · Vocal Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sean Trane
From what I know, SKAU is Thomas’s debut album, but also easily his best (IMHO), at least to the jazzheads into the Pharoah galaxy. Indeed, most, if not all, of Sanders’ band is present on the present, from the luscious piano of Liston to Cecil’s instantly recognizable bass and Spaulding’s typical flute, and even on one track, the master plays under the Little Rock alias.

Opening on a version of Pharoah’s Creator Has A Master Plan with Spaulding’s delightful flute, SKAU announces a certain musical softness that won’t always be confirmed by the lyrics throughout the album. These lyrics contrast with Leon Thomas’ soft crooner voice that sometimes shows his signature goaty-yodel, like in the following One (a live track, apparently) where some fast-scatting also appears among some wild arrangements. Echoes first opens on Spaulding’s flute that are shortly echoed by Thomas’ own, before he takes the mike. The track goes from soft to involved to return on the soft side, and certain dynamics (mainly flutes and percussions) can remind of Sun Ra. Closing the A-side is a version of Horace Silver’s Song For My Father, but obviously very much updated to fit the late 60’s moods. The flipside opens with the protest Damn Nam, which has echoes of Gill Scott-Heron, though this almost predates it. The lengthy Malcolm’s Gone is the centrepiece of the album, and has chaotic echoes of Tyner and Trane. The cover of Let Rain Fall On Me closes the album on a soft crooning note

The album comes with three bonus tracks, two of which come from a Fillmore East concert from the fall of the next year, both taken from an SNCC’s Rapalbum. The third track is a wild cover of Dizzy’s Night In Tunisia. I’m generally not a sung-jazz fan, but I must say that Leon Thomas is one of the singers that reconciles me with the “vocal jazz/crooner” genre, but it’s also partly because of who plays on this album, and the era in which it was recorded in. Indeed, Pharoah’s band in 69 was one of the last interesting places in jazz not heading to the JR/F direction, and they’re all present here, despite a less-extreme approach. A fairly good album that can be stocked close to your “new thing” section in your collection.

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