Week 44: JT Reprise
Since I’m kept really busy with the 4BB/Damn Remix Competition right now (well, that and my day job), Week 44 offers a re-run from the old 4 Brothers Beats blog…which definitely doesn’t have to be a bad thing!
We did a full discography post on funky flautist Joe Thomas a couple of years ago – and to my happy surprise several of his albums have been remastered and reissued since then…but not his “Here I Come” LP from 1977! So the choice for this weeks post was real simple. But hey, before we get started…if you aren’t up to speed on JT and his music, you’d better have a quick look at this quite sketchy bio over at AMG. OK then…you ready?
From the vaults of 4BB – originally posted back in late December 2007, 30 years after the albums original release – here’s Joe Thomas!
1977’s “Here I Come” is Joe Thomas seventh full length LP, and for some odd reason it seems to be one of his lesser known albums – still, after a quick brush up listen I don’t really see how this could be possible! Because this Sonny Lester produced gem could very well be JT’s strongest, most even album to date – definitely suitable for an “all killer, no filler” description! Smoothly amazing from start to finish!
And it’s a goldmine from a beatmaker’s point of view too…due to the suave orchestration, great arrangements and cool production – handled by the trio Brad Baker, Lance Quinn & Sonny Lester! Just listen to cuts like “Green Dragon”, “Gotcha” and “A Place In Space” and you’ll see what I’m talking about! Hey, I’ve already found at least two clearly recognizable fragments used by Madlib! And Black Spade uses parts of JT’s “Gotcha” on the track “Revolutionary Bullshit” off his upcoming debut album “To Serve With Love” – damn good album too, easily the best this year (or maybe next?), make sure to pick that one up!
Here’s a quick preview of my favourite track off the album, the smooth “A Place In Space” – together with a cover art exposé of all the Joe Thomas albums in my vinyl collection:
All through “Here I Come”, Joe alternates between the tenor sax and his flute for the solos – and is frequently joined by both Jimmy Ponder’s guitar and Paul Griffin’s synthesizer, which makes this album funkier and more varied than many of his previous outings! You’ll really like this one – I promise!
One of Joe’s sweeter and smoother sessions of the 70s – a record that takes the core horn sound of his Ebony Godfather years, and fuses it with some larger backings directed by Brad Baker (of B Baker Chocolate Company fame!) The sound actually works well for Joe – and has him playing in a style that’s a lot like the Kudu work of Grover Washington – stretching solos out over electric rhythms that have a smooth but funky style. Titles include “Green Dragon”, “Same Old Song”, “Place In Space”, “Gotcha”, and “Here I Come”.
Never re-issued on CD, but the original vinyl is for sale here! And the great 1994 Joe Thomas CD compilation “Plato’s Retreat And Other Funky Delights” has been reissued again, and is even available as MP3’s right here – just go get it!
Props to Soulbrotha for hooking me up with a re-rip of “A Place In Space” for this post, but first and foremost – Joe Thomas…thank you for the music!
(PS. Oh, yeah! All you beatmakers out there – remember that the deadline for the 4BB/Damn! Remix Competition is on Sunday, November 8th…so get cracking, don’t be late! :¬D)