Michael J. Thomas - City Beat

Michael J. Thomas
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His roots were planted in honky-tonk town of Cecilia, Kentucky, but songwriter and saxophonist Michael J. Thomas found his calling in funk and soul. Thanks to talents carefully cultivated since junior high, his tenor, alto and soprano sax skills have served him professionally since the age of 19 and have taken Mr. Thomas around the world with jazz luminaries like Dave Koz, Boney James, Kirk Whalum and Nick Colionne, to name a few. His globe-trotting and love of the soul greats are what fed into the delectably-diversified mix found on his Harbor Street Records debut, City Beat, rich with mesmerizing melodies, pulsating beats and even a pinch of hip-hop.

Backed by instrumentalists like bassist Eric Lampley, drummer Johnathan Davis and trumpeter Paul Scurto, Mr.

His roots were planted in honky-tonk town of Cecilia, Kentucky, but songwriter and saxophonist Michael J. Thomas found his calling in funk and soul. Thanks to talents carefully cultivated since junior high, his tenor, alto and soprano sax skills have served him professionally since the age of 19 and have taken Mr. Thomas around the world with jazz luminaries like Dave Koz, Boney James, Kirk Whalum and Nick Colionne, to name a few. His globe-trotting and love of the soul greats are what fed into the delectably-diversified mix found on his Harbor Street Records debut, City Beat, rich with mesmerizing melodies, pulsating beats and even a pinch of hip-hop.

Backed by instrumentalists like bassist Eric Lampley, drummer Johnathan Davis and trumpeter Paul Scurto, Mr. Thomas co-composed nine of the ten tracks and conveys the emotions expertly, such as the building desire found in "Pretty Skin," a tender serenade for that walk down the aisle ("Wedding Song [Forever Always]"), the street-wise sophistication in the opening "Midtown Manhattan" and a faithful interpretation of Michael Jackson's signature smash, "Billie Jean," which opens with a sweet interpolation of "The Lady In My Life" before the drum kick and keyboard licks give way to a compelling cover paying homage to one of his major musical influences.

Vocals: n/a
Music: 4.0 stars
Lyrics: n/a
Production: 4.0 stars
SoulTracks Call: Highly Recommended

By Melody Charles

 

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