Leon Thomas

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Facets Review

by Scott Yanow

This fine 1973 sampler LP features performances by singer Leon Thomas originally on three previous sets. Three numbers (including "Song for My Father" and a short remake of "The Creator Has a Master Plan") are taken from a 1969 album with the mysterious "Little Rock" (a psuedonym for Pharoah Sanders) on tenor. A trio of numbers feature Thomas with an R&Bish band arranged by Pee Wee Ellis (originally issued as part of Blues and the Soulful Truth) and the remaining selections ("Disillusion Blues," the downbeat "Welcome to New York" and "Duke's Place") are from the vocalist's memorable meeting with altoist Johnny Hodges and Oliver Nelson's Orchestra. Throughout, Leon Thomas (a somewhat unique singer whose career has been rather aimless since this period) is heard in prime form.