Tenor saxophonist Gary Thomas, a Baltimore native, eats melodies for lunch. With the confidence of a master musician, Thomas stakes out new melodic territory along the vast topography of their record’s urgent rhythms. Thomas has a grainy, sinewy, and hard-edged saxophone sound that has been compared with Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, and Joe Henderson. Coming to prominence in the mid 1980's as a member of the Miles Davis Band, Thomas became a vital member of Jack De Johnette's Special Edition where he played alongside fellow saxophonist Greg Osby. Most recently he toured with the Herbie Hancock Quartet.
Thomas’ sound is bolstered and propelled by Swedish bassist Joel Grip and drummer Devin Gray, a New Englander. Grip and Gray bob and jab their way through the record’s raucous rhythms. At times, Grip’s fat contrabass follows Thomas’ sax through singing melodies; at other times, his sound becomes transparent and fractured – it disintegrates into the rhythm of Gray’s flashes of percussive brilliance and then rises up again like a great whale bursting through the throbbing breaks of a musical ocean.
The music is dark and lyrical, reminiscent of the early free jazz, though assimilated with a very modern approach to improvisation; this is the key to the CORPULENT sound. The sincerity is evident in every note, rhythm, and articulation.
GARY THOMAS-TENOR SAX
JOEL GRIP- BASS
"Yes, there’s tension here, there’s a disparity in styles, but the resulting clash of impulses makes for an interesting conversation rather than an uncomfortable encounter." Daniel Spicer
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