Leon Thomas’ slightly Latinised version of Horace Silver’s classic ‘Song For My Father’ is probably the least challenging track on an album that serves as a showcase for the singer’s many talents. In doing so it became one of the most important jazz vocal albums of its time, pointing a way forward for jazz when it seemed as if supper clubs and nostalgia was the most likely way to go. Here we are given the political edge of ‘Damn Nam (Ain’t Going To Vietnam)’, the free jazz experimentation of ‘Malcolm’s Gone’ with Pharoah Sanders on tenor saxophone, and the spiritual searching of ‘Echoes’. The album is bookended by a concise take on Thomas’ signature tune ‘The Creator Has A Master Plan’ and the beautiful ‘Let The Rain Fall On Me’. Our release also features the session out-take ‘A Night In Tunisia’ and two live tracks taken from the LP “SNCCs Rap” which have never before been reissued.
By Dean Rudland