Friday, December 18, 2015

Leon Thomas - 1971 - In Berlin

Leon Thomas 
In Berlin

01. Straight No Chaser   
02. Pharoah's Tune (The Journey)   
03. Echoes   
04. Umbo Weti   
05. The Creator Has A Master Plan (Peace)   
06. Oo-Wee! Hindewe   

Bass – Günter Lenz
Drums – Lex Humphries
Percussion – Sonny Morgan
Piano – Arthur Sterling
Saxophone – Oliver Nelson
Vocals – Leon Thomas

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 nauseum, providing some fine near-hypnotic effects. Still, this is probably the least essential of Thomas' albums.

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