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Leon Thomas – Live In Berlin (1971/2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Leon Thomas – Live In Berlin (1971/2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 41:09 minutes | 883 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Ace Records

Leon Thomas is a strange and charismatic beast. Live he must have been captivating. On this album we start with a fair bit of epic avant waffling – although bits of Pharoah are stunning for me the true highlight is the idiosyncratic “The Creator Has a Master Plan” – how can you make jazz yodelling work?! Not sure, maybe no-one but him and no-when but then. The Hancock-esque Ooo-Wheeeee!! Hindewe is a hoot as well.

Leon Thomas’ yodelling is always reason enough to buy one of his albums, but this live album is not quite as impressive as other efforts from around the same time, mostly because the band doesn’t sound dense enough. This is particularly noticeable on “Straight No Chaser”, which seems to fall apart and the otherwise impressive “Umbo Weti”, which sounds a bit thin.

What makes this nevertheless worthwhile is Oliver Nelson, who plays what must be some of the most angular sax solos of his entire career, and a band who are not afraid to repeat melodic lines seemingly ad nauseam, providing some fine near-hypnotic effects. Still, this is probably the least essential of Thomas’ albums.

1. Leon Thomas – Straight No Chaser (Live) (06:31)
2. Leon Thomas – Pharoah’s Tune (The Journey) (Live) (09:09)
3. Leon Thomas – Echoes (Live) (06:12)
4. Leon Thomas – Umbo Weti (Live) (09:21)
5. Leon Thomas – The Creator Has A Master Plan (Peace) (Live) (08:45)
6. Leon Thomas – Oo-Wee! Hindewe (Live) (01:08)


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