Leon Thomas’ second album for Flying Dutchman was a step up from his debut. Instead of the small group setting of “Spirits Known and Unknown”, “The Leon Thomas Album” features five horns and a rhythm section augmented by several percussionists. The extravagance was prompted by the good reception received by the first album. Thomas was already a veteran performer by the time Bob Thiele signed him to Flying Dutchman in 1969, having recorded for RCA in 1958 and as the featured vocalist with the Count Basie band in the early to mid-60s. After leaving Basie, he developed a distinctive style which merged his blues voice with scat and African-inspired yodelling, which come to fruition with the Pharoah Sanders group on their hit ‘The Creator Has A Master Plan’ from the album “Karma”. “The Leon Thomas Album” begins with fairly straightforward big band-inspired jazz, before a fabulous take on Milt Jackson’s ‘Bag’s Groove’ and extended pieces of spiritual jazz. The 17-minute ‘Pharoah’s Tune (The Journey)’ is astounding and makes it all the more amazing that this album has never been released on CD before.