Juma's Archive


Song for My Father

Leon Thomas

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Studio Rivbea, NYC, 1973 – 4:43
  • Leon Thomas - vocals
  • Neal Creque – piano
  • Pee Wee Ellis – sax
  • Neal Creque – piano
  • John Blair – vitar
  • Benny Wilson – bass
  • Baba Feme – conga
  • Jesse “Cheese” Kilpatrick – drums

Film of this performance shows Leon out front in full brilliantly appointed African regalia while Pee Wee Ellis sits in the back wearing a simple white t-shirt. See the audio archive for a clip from this film.

This Leon Thomas’ version of the great Horace Silver composition was performed and recorded during the 1973 Five Boroughs New York Musicans Jazz Festival.

Over the course of his career Leon Thomas worked with a wide range of artists, from Count Basie to Roland Kirk to Pharoah Sanders to Carlos Santana. Some of his most notable work was on Pharoah’s Jewels of Thought and Karma albums. He is most known for his vocals on the songs "The Creator Has A Master Plan" – which he co-wrote with Pharoah – and "Hum-Allah". Leon’s distinctive throat singing – he called it “soularfone” – was based on his knowledge of African throat articulation. Leon Thomas died of heart failure in 1999.