The British label Passion Jazz has brought out an anthology covering nearly the full spectrum of work by American jazz vocalist Leon Thomas -- and what a body of work it is. In his prime (roughly 1969-1973), Leon Thomas collaborated with artists ranging from Pharoah Sanders to Santana to Oliver Nelson, producing such fearlessly adventurous songs as "The Creator Has a Master Plan," "Shape Your Mind to Die," and "Balance of Life," as well as superlative covers of "CC Rider," "Bag's Groove," and Horace Silver's "Song for My Father," all included here. Leon Thomas's stylistic trademarks were a deep-throated yodel and a rich baritone; but what made him extraordinary was the warmth and humor with which he infused even the most uncompromising music. Such a life-affirming nature, coupled with such virtuosity, make Leon Thomas an artist well-worth exploring. With most of his catalogue long out of print, there is no better place to start than this Anthology.
AllMusic Review by Peter Nappi