Three full albums from funky reedman Joe Thomas – served up in a single set! On Feelings From Within, the Ebony Godfather is grooving with a set of fuller backings – sweet clubby funk, arranged and conducted by Brad Baker (of B Baker Chocolate
Company fame) – all as a showcase for Joe's sweet work on flute and tenor sax! There's a fair bit of keyboards on the tunes – played by Pat Rebillot and Barry Miles – and Steve Gadd's playing the drums on the date, which helps the rhythms keep a bit of an edge, even amidst the larger backing. Some cuts have backing chorus vocals, in a style used on other Thomas albums – and although definitely touched by a bit of disco fever, the album's still got a jazzy element too – like some of the crossover club sessions on the Kudu label from the 70s! Titles include "Funky Fever", "Feelins From Within", "Polarizer", "Coco", "Galaxy Dreamin", and "Venus". Make Your Move is sweet clubby grooving from Joe Thomas – a set that has the Ebony Godfather smoothing his groove a bit for the disco years of the late 70s, but still keeping things plenty soulful throughout! Brad Baker (of B Baker Chocolate
Company fame) arranged and conducted the album, and he brings in some added vocals to the session – star
ting most tunes with a bit of singing before the instrumentalists get to solo in the grooves. The approach still works plenty darn well, though – and there's some great numbers here that slide in a bit of moogy vamping, in a way that's somewhat like some of Thomas' previous Ebony Godfather records. Titles include the funky "Caught You Lying Again", the smooth stepper "Let Me Be The One", and the tracks "Sugar Smack", "Get On Back", "Make Your Move", and "Your Love Is So Good To Me". On Masada, the cover's a bit righteous, but the grooves are wonderfully smooth – that shift towards warmer, club-based styles that Joe Thomas took in the 70s – an approach that comes off surprisingly well! Brad Baker's handling most of the arrangements here – with a fusion of jazz, funk, and club that's similar to some of the work coming out of the CTI/
Kudu labels during the same stretch – and Joe's use of tenor sax on the album almost comes off like Stanley Turrentine in a similar setting, although with a bit less bite. Instrumentation includes keyboards, horns, and strings – and there's also a slight bit of chorus vocals on a few tracks too. Titles include "Poinciana", "Flame", "Let's Love", "Gemini Flyin' High", "I'm Gone & I'm Glad", and "Masada".