From the great islands of Trinidad and Tobago comes Mr. Leon Foster Thomas, a steel pan virtuoso breaking new ground in the instrument's role in jazz. Now based in Miami, Foster has performed with many, from Cyril Neville to Hugh Masekela. His next full length album - METAMORPHOSIS - is cued up for release on June 3rd, and it is an adventurous and complex project that pushes both the instrument and the genre forward. Featuring appearances from David Palma, John Daversa, and Sammy Figueroa, Metamorphosis has nine original compositions and a stunning rendition of Procol Harum's 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale'. Get in here to stay up on the news.
Most of the time you think of steel pans, your mind goes to vacations in the Bahamas or Jamaica. Leon Foster Thomas turns them into a true jazz instrument here. Along with Martin Bejerano/p, Kurt Hengstebeck/b, Michael Piolet/dr, Jean XCaze/tp, David Palma/ts-fl, Fernando Ulibarri/g, John Daversa/tp-evi and Sammy Figueroa/perc, Thomas takes hold of some advanced and tricky post bop like “Cry of Hope” an d”Kai-Fusion.” The steel pans sound hip and snappy along with Hengstebecks bass on “Midnight Refrain” and Bejarano’s piano adds to the easy blues of “In the Corner” and funky “Dubplate Swing.” Daversa adds some electronica to the noirish “Unknown Memory” and Figueroa’s extra percussion adds spice to the sizzling “Delusion Of A Dream.” The lone cover is a clever take of the pop hit “Whiter Shade of Pale” which allows the soft side of everyone to get appreciated. This guy means business! Ropeadope Records