Juma's Archive


Shape Your Mind to Die

Leon Thomas

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Studio Rivbea, NYC, 1973 – 16:08
  • Leon Thomas - vocals
  • Neal Creque – piano
  • Pee Wee Ellis – sax
  • John Blair – vitar
  • Benny Wilson – bass
  • Baba Feme – conga
  • Jesse “Cheese” Kilpatrick – drums

“Shape Your Mind to Die” by Leon Thomas, Neal Creque, and Marcus Garvey. The title of this tune, as Leon explains at the start, is based on a line from Marcus Garvey.

Neal Creque went on to have a lengthy career as a composer, performer and teacher. Over the course of his career he played with numerous greats, including Grant Green, Quincy Jones, and Sarah Vaughan. Neal taught at the Oberlin Conservatory from 1988 until his death at age 60 in 2000.

John Blair contributed to a wide range of significant recordings over the course of his career. In 1971 he played on the classic Alice Coltrane record, Universal Consciousness; in 1973 on McCoy Tyner’s Song of the New World, as well as sessions for artists as diverse as Lalo Schifrin and Hall & Oates. John died in 2006.

This performance was recorded for the 1973 Five Boroughs New York Musicans Jazz Festival.