No standards here, as the tracks are all originals – written by reedman Ralph Thomas and the rest of his group – to create the sort of unique little record that really keeps us digging for rare jazz over the years! Thomas grew up in Chicago, where he soaked up the soulful sounds of both the west side and the AACM – but the set was recorded after he'd moved to Los Angeles, at the suggestion of some of his contemporaries – where he was able to bring together some equally inventive players, while also working as part of the same hip scene that included Horace Tapscott and Nate Morgan! Some of the rhythms here recall some of Morgan's music on the Nimbus
label, but there's maybe a bit more of a soul current too – with Thomas on alto, tenor, soprano, and flute – amidst guitar, keyboards, drums, flute, and some especially nice percussion – all to craft rhythms that move between spiritual, modal, and more conventionally soulful styles – a vibe that's maybe a bit like some of the 70s Detroit work on the Strata label. Titles include "Spellbound", "Cafe Phillipp", "Big Spliff", "Venice", "EST", "Deloreso", and "Muscavado".