RALPH THOMAS-EASTERN STANDARD TIME.

Ralph Thomas-Eastern Standard Time.

Label: BBE.

Back in 1980,  Ralph Thomas released his debut album Eastern Standard Time  on the obscure Zebra Jazz imprint. Sadly, this spiritual jazz cult classic failed to find  the audience it deserved until much later. 

By them, copies of Eastern Standard Time  were almost impossible to find, and when a copy came up for sale. the prices were prohibitively high for most jazz fans. They were unable or unwilling to spend a couple of hundred greenbacks on a copy of Ralph Thomas ’s oft-overlooked hidden gem Eastern Standard Time. 

Now though, jazz fans everywhere can enjoy Ralph Thomas’  Eastern Standard Time  which has just been released BBE. At  last, this  spiritual jazz cult classic will be beard by the audience it so richly deserves. Eastern Standard Time is a reminder of a talented and versatile reedman, Ralph Thomas

Ralph Thomas was born into musical family in the Windy City of Chicago in 1950. Growing up, Ralph Thomas’ principal instrument was the saxophone, but he was able to play a variety of different instruments. It was no surprise when Ralph Thomas decided to study music at one of Chicago’s most venerable institutions.

In 1969, nineteen year old Ralph Thomas nerved at the Chicago Conservatory of Music which was his  home for the next few years. During this period, he became a member of the Chicago A.A.C.M, and  studded alongside  master musicians Phil Cohran and Richard Muhal Abrams. By then,  Ralph Thomas was keen  to put what he had learnt into practise.

Soon, Ralph Thomas was recording with blues legend, Howlin’ Wolf and Mighty Joe Young for the Cadet imprint of Chess records. Although this was just the start of his career he was already working with some big names,

Five years layer, this continued when Ralph Thomas moved to LA and continued to work as a session player ‘20th’  Century Fox and Motown. Ralph Thomas recorded with Marvin Gaye, Jermaine Jackson, Smokey Robinson and Rick James. A talented and versatile reedman, Ralph Thomas was never short of offers of work.

As the eighties dawned, Ralph Thomas was keen to embark upon a solo career. While Ralph Thomas enjoyed session work, a solo career was how he saw his career progressing.

By them, he had written Cafe Phillipp, E.S.T. and Spellbound and penned  Muscavado and Venice with Lawrence Dixon. Ralph Thomas and Thierry Sharfe write Doloreso which was joined by Joel Ector’s Big Spliff. These seven tracks were played by Ralph Thomas and his babd and became Eastern Standard Time,

Ralph Thomas arranehd and produced Eastern Standard Time, alto, tenor, soprano and baritone saxophone and flute. His rhythm section featured  drummer and percussionist Joel Vierset, bassist Joel Ector and guitarist Thierry Sharfe, They were joined by flautist Joann Leauanthal, percussionist Warren Thomas and keyboardist  Lawrence Dixon who also played,

One the ‘9th’ of January 1980, Eastern Standard Time was released on Zebra Jazz, but sadly failed to find the audience it deserved. With tracks of the quality of  Cafe Phillipp, EST, Spellbound, Muscavado and Venice, Eastern Standard Time where Ralph Thomas and his talented band  combined hard bop, modal, posy bop and spiritual jazz. The result was astern Standard Time ambitious and innovative debut album from Ralph Thomas.

It wasn’t until much later that this Ralph Thomas  spiritual jazz cult classic started to receive the recognition it deserved, By them, copies of Eastern Standard Time  were almost impossible to find, and when a copy came up for sale, the prices were prohibitively high for most jazz fans. They were unable to spend $150 or $200 on a copy of Ralph Thomas ’s oft-overlooked hidden gem Eastern Standard Time. 

Forty-eight years later, jazz fans everywhere can enjoy Ralph Thomas’  Eastern Standard Time  which has just been released by BBE. Now Eastern Standard Time which is a s spiritual jazz cult classic can l be beard by the audience it so richly deserves and isa reminder of a talented and versatile reedman, Ralph Thomas.

Ralph Thomas-Eastern Standard Time.

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