Personnel: René Thomas (g), Herman Sandy (tp), Jacques Pelzer (as), Bobby Jaspar (ts, fl), Jean Fanis, Jack Diéval, Amedeo Tommasi, Joël Vandroogenbroeck (p), Jimmy Smith (org), Paul Dubois, Bob Roach, Jacques Hess, Benoit Quersin (b), George Braxton, Daniel Humair, Jose Bourguignon, Franco Manzecchi, Donald Bailey (d)
Rare and unreleased performances by the legendary jazz guitarist
René Thomas (1927-1975) was considered the best European jazz guitarist of his generation by fellow musicians and critics, but his career was marred by the pervasive skepticism of jazz fans. Despite trying hard to carve his own space, he never obtained the recognition he deserved for his immense talent, perhaps because of his introverted character and prolonged withdrawals from the scene.
Shy and taciturn by nature —always entrenched behind a pair of thick portho— Thomas became authoritative and convincing as soon as he picked his guitar. That’s when this unique jazzman truly shined. With a deep, rich sound and absolute control of his instrument, he was always at ease, delicately distilling the most difficult passages in a simple, straight-forward manner. In the 45 years that have gone by since his death, René Thomas has become a legend, and although today he enjoys worldwide respect and admiration, he is still often underrated in comparison with other great guitarists. This album is a humble homage to this guitar genius.
01. Motion (Jimmy Raney) 3:46
02. There'll Never Be Another You (Warren-Gordon) 4:01
03. Lover Man (Davis-Sherman-Ramirez) 3:54
04. Stella by Starlight (Victor Young) 2:33
05. Whose Blues (Lennie Niehaus) 2:56
06. Au Privave (Charlie Parker) 11:09
07. Blue Train (John Coltrane) 11:36
08. Milestones (Miles Davis) 6:33
09. Motion (Jimmy Raney) 7:00
10. All Mornin' Long (Red Garland) 10:02
11. It Could Happen to You (Burke-Van Heusen) 5:04
12. Never Morning (René Thomas) 3:51
01. Milestones (Miles Davis) 7:17
02. It Could Happen to You (Burke-Van Heusen) 9:17
03. Oleo (Sonny Rollins) 3:56
04. Ballata in forma di blues (Amedeo Tommasi) 5:53
05. It Could Happen to You (Burke-Van Heusen) 5:03
06. I Remember Sonny (René Thomas) 5:09
07. Au Privave (Charlie Parker) 5:40
08. Easy Living (Rainger-Robin) 5:10
09. Our Delight (Tadd Dameron) 4:57
10. Moonlight in Vermont (Vernon Duke) 3:52
11. Well You Needn't (Thelonious Monk) 5:23
12. Blues (P.D.) 7:48
13. Stardust (Carmichael-Parish) 5:18
Tracks #1-5: JACQUES PELZER MODERN JAZZ SEXTET Feat. RENÉ THOMAS
Jacques Pelzer, alto sax; René Thomas, guitar; Jean Fanis, piano; Paul Dubois, bass; Rudy Frankel, drums; Herman Sandy, trumpet (#2 & 5).
Recorded in Brussels, Belgium, May 18, 1955
Tracks #6-9: RENÉ THOMAS TRIO
René Thomas, guitar; Bob Roach, bass; George Braxton, drums.
Recorded at Café Lutece, Montreal, Canada, February, 1960
Track #10: RENÉ THOMAS TRIO
René Thomas, guitar; Benoît Quersin, bass; José Bourguignon, drums.
Recorded at Comblain-la-Tour Jazz Festival, July 30, 1961
Tracks #11-12: BOBBY JASPAR-RENÉ THOMAS QUARTET
Bobby Jaspar, flute; René Thomas, guitar; Jacques Hess, bass; Franco Manzecchi, drums.
Studio session for the show “Jazz aux Champs-Élysées”, Paris, November 6, 1961
Personnel on CD 2:
Tracks #1-2: BOBBY JASPAR-RENÉ THOMAS QUINTET
Bobby Jaspar, tenor sax & flute; René Thomas, guitar; Jack Diéval, piano; Jacques Hess, bass; Franco Manzecchi, drums.
Recorded live from the show “Jazz aux Champs-Élysées”, Paris, Fall 1961
Tracks #3-6: INTERNATIONAL JAZZ QUINTET
Bobby Jaspar, tenor sax & flute; René Thomas, guitar; Amedeo Tommasi, piano; Benoît Quersin, bass; Daniel Humair, drums.
Recorded live at Radio-TV, RTBF, Brussels, January 16, 1962
Tracks #7-11: RENÉ THOMAS QUARTET
René, guitar; Joël Vandroogenbroeck, piano; Benoît Quersin, bass; Daniel Humair, drums.
Recorded at Festival d’Antibes Juan-les-Pins, July 20, 1962
Track #12: RENÉ THOMAS-JIMMY SMITH TRIO
René Thomas, guitar; Jimmy Smith, organ; Donald Bailey, drums.
Recorded at Festival d’Antibes Juan-les-Pins, July 22, 1962
Track #13: RENÉ THOMAS QUARTET
René Thomas, acoustic guitar; Jack Diéval, piano; Jacques Hess, bass; Franco Manzecchi, drums.
Studio session for the show “Jazz aux Champs-Élysées”, Paris, late summer 1962
This compilation produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
Mastered by Pieter De Wagter
Liner notes written by Jordi Pujol
Mono · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas S.L.
Special thanks to Christiane Lemire & Pascal Rozat (INA), Jean-Pol Schroeder
(Maison du Jazz de Liège), Christian Dangleterre, and Sébastien Joulie